Instead of going out, I'm trying to encourage people to have a memorable experience in their own home. We call it 'Delicioso Night In.' I invite the people I care about the most. Then, when I get a lot of people together, I like to have finger foods.
I like to cook with the philosophy of using great ingredients and not altering them too much.
I was a little, uh, incorrigible as a kid, so the kitchen was a good place to give me structure and balance. It taught me hard work, but then I grew to love it.
Marcus Samuelsson is a chef who inspires me everyday. He has such a deep understanding of flavors and techniques. His food is representative of the diverse world that we live in. What he has done in Harlem with Red Rooster is very special. Marcus is not just a chef, he's a food activist.
My mother and my grandmother are pioneers of Mexican cuisine in this country, so I grew up in the kitchen. My mom, Zarela Martinez, was by far my biggest influence and inspiration - and toughest critic.