Sometimes in life we come across people that immediately inspire us. Not only is the person I have interviewed for the Linda Project today one of the most fabulous chef’s I’ve ever come across, but he is also one of the kindest and most passionate human beings. He cares deeply about his work and loves his family like no other. (You won’t ever see him without a bandana on either ;)). It’s truly refreshing when you can find people like David, and I’m so proud to call him a friend. (He may not consider me that, but hey, I can pretend 🙂 ).
I’ve had the pleasure to work with David through my job at the Timberwolves. This season we partnered with David to revamp the Target Center’s Food Story and what we have to offer. The way David has transformed our Premium level and the products we have to offer our Clients/Fans has been nothing short of amazing. He dedicates so much time and makes sure every ingredient going into your body is as healthy as possible.
Some of you may be familiar with his name. David is the owner of Faces Mears Park, which is currently under construction and reopening in the Spring as, Bistro 3.7.3. I know it will be a date night must for Joe and I right when it opens!
I hope readers enjoy a fun interview below and may you realize you do not have to be famous Chef to cook a good meal. (this post was inspired by me burning a frozen pizza last week). I’m literally the world’s worst cook. Like worst. I work 50-60 hour weeks and I know you are all thinking – then meal prep, but honestly I don’t even find enjoyment in that! I am going to start incorporating some of David’s tips into my lifestyle and I hope to do a follow up post with a much happier version of my relationship with cooking.
Enjoy and thank you David for taking time out of your busy schedule!
Below is a brief bio on David to give you some background on who he is and where he got his love for cooking from…
Born in Casablanca Morocco to a Spanish mother and a Sicilian father, David has been in the US since 1982. David’s parents, while fluent in 5 languages were never able to read or write. However, they fed 17 children the hard way; growing their own vegetables, using the local ovens to cook their breads, buying the whole (live) cow, owning a chicken coop; making each and every meal from scratch. It was his early life at home that shaped his food story more significantly than anything. Pursuing his engineering degree, at his father’s urging, David attended L’Ecole d’ingénieurs, in Geneva, Switzerland though his heart and passion remained true to food (and people) throughout achieving his degree. David’s culinary experiences, studies and training have taken him from Casablanca to London, Paris to Strasbourg, Geneva to Los Angeles and currently to Minneapolis. Each of these cities has influenced him greatly. The biggest influence, however, remains his mother’s cooking and his father prowess in butchering.
How do you get your inspiration?
We are always inspired by what we love and my love for cooking with real ingredients inspires me daily, I am also inspired by my family, guests, friends and anyone I come in contact with. Pleasing them, sharing a meal with them, teaching and learning from them continues to inspire me daily.
Favorite Kitchen Gadget?
My knives, there is nothing you can’t do with a great set of knives.
Ok you can’t always be on you’re A game, what is your funniest kitchen incident?
I am always on my A game 🙂 but even then our industry is full of mishaps some funny and some not….as in the day a server asked me in the middle of a rush for a bowl of veg stock for a VIP guest ,mind you this was in the middle of the rush in my restaurant back in LA (Mark’s). I proceeded to go on a French/Spanish and some English tirade only to look up and the VIP guest was standing in the kitchen ..Lionel Ritchie. We laughed and he came on the line to help me make veg stock.
Favorite Food to cook with?
List the top 5-10 ingredients you must always have in your pantry/fridge to make a great meal…
Olive oil, turmeric, garlic, free range chicken, sustainable fish, fresh tomatoes, saffron, Arborio rice, and grass fed butter.
You are limited by your imagination with these ingredients.
If you had to cook a healthy meal in 30 minutes for your family, what would you cook?
Most awesome meals can be done in 30 minutes: Brown rice vegetable risotto, Tomato basil and cilantro on grilled baguette, Pan seared free range chicken on a bed of arugula with a garlic olive oil and lemon dressing, and so much more!
Is there a way someone like me can ever enjoy cooking without going to culinary school?
OF COURSE…do not be afraid of cooking, embrace it! Experiment, and above all cook for others before you cook for yourself. And remember, you are instinctually pre-disposed to cook for survival, use your instincts, do not complicate things. 95% of cooking is simple and comes in TWOS…Raspberry and Chocolate…Peaches and Mint…Fresh bread and olive oil…Rosemary and garlic and so on.
As we approach Valentine’s Day, any fun traditions you have for this holiday?
My favorite holiday because of my wife….Chocolate soup and champagne
Any good books you recommend that will improve my relationship with cooking?
Yes…I am writing one coming this Christmas….until then – Larousse Gastronomique…open it to any page and cook whatever is on that page.
My husband is a total foodie, what are some of your favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities?
NO…I love so many and my rule is to never go to the same place twice unless I have to…but my last great meal besides my wife’s was at Bar La Grassa.
Is there a recipe that you are willing to share with our readers that is clean and easy?
Farm Egg Salad
3 organic red beets
3 hard boiled eggs (sliced into rounds)
3 baby red potatoes
Basil balsamic vinaigrette
Beat Cooking Directions:
- Wash the red beets.
- Boil them with the skin on for 30-40 minutes.
- Let them chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes (this allows you to peel them more easily).
- Peel the red beets.
- Slice the red beets into rounds.
Potato Cooking Directions:
- Wash the potatoes.
- Place the potatoes in an oven pan, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper to season them.
- Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 365 degrees.
- Let them cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
- Slice the potatoes into rounds
Place your beats, eggs and potatoes around the rim of your plate, alternating which one you place on top of the other. Once you have fanned the beats, eggs and potatoes around the plate, drizzle your basil balsamic vinaigrette over your plate to finish. You should have a visually appealing dish built to give you a bite of all the ingredients with each fork full.
David was kind enough to share two more dishes, but I’ll save those for another post 🙂
You can follow David on Instagram @cheffhima.