Michael O'Dowd of Renegade by MOD on His Favorite Cheap Eats, the Great Thing About Being a Chef and What Should Be Written on His Headstone
This is part two of my interview with Michael O'Dowd, executive chef and co-owner of Renegade by MOD in Scottsdale. If you missed part one, where O'Dowd dished about what he's up to at Renegade and how he feels about comfort food, read it here.
Buchanan O'Dowd and his herb garden on the patio
Five words to describe you: Passionate, energetic, visionary, driven, alive.
Five words to describe Renegade by MOD: Vibrant, unique, friendly, artistic, fresh.
Favorite food smell: Fresh bread.
Favorite cookbook: White Heat - Marco Pierre White -- It was raw for me back in the day and ignited my climb.
The one ingredient/dish you never get sick of eating: Chinese sausage.
Ingredient/dish you're completely over: White truffle oil.
IIngredient you love to cook with: I love ginger and the diversity it brings. You can throw it in anything and it'll blow up.
Do you believe in farm-to-table or is it a buzzword?: I am a believer but have seen many who abuse its purpose and mission.
Now that expensive restaurants with esoteric ingredients are few and far between, what's the new version of fancy?: Doing re-imagined food with torque and pairing it with high-end ingredients.
Your favorite cuisine and why: I'm a lover of all cuisines and really try to focus on how that food got to taste that way through years of tradition and/or how a New Age approach re-defines it.
Best food memory: Bruno's for bread and cheese as a kid.
Favorite place to dine in Phoenix: Lee's Sandwiches -- fast, good flavors, and cheap.