Rich rocks. He is a certified master chef, a champion at his craft, and holds numerous national & international competitive cooking titles. We ask him about what life is like in the foodie wold, while crossing our fingers that he'll make us breakfast in bed.
Did you ever think your talent would bring you to TV?
No, I did not, but I am glad it did. I really saw when I was competing in all these cooking competitions, that the general public really was disconnected from that. But then post Recipe Rehab, I now have conversations with people at the grocery store about a recipe they saw on the show. So in essence, TV has provided me a new platform to reach an entirely different audience. I love it, and my kids get a kick out of it too!
What is your favorite dish to eat?
To this day I love my tacos, all kinds. When I was little I raided my mom's Susan B. Anthony coin collection and cashed them in for as many tacos as I could buy at the local taco joint. The discipline I received was a small price to pay in my eyes for the crispy, delicious treats. I still love tacos, but now I have a job and pay for them myself.
Think you could get us a reservation at The French Laundry?
If I had a quarter for everything I heard that question. (laughs)
Who is the most interesting person you've cooked for?
One time I rolled a birthday cake out to Jessica Simpson and I could not get the freakin' sparklers to light.
For many people, cooking is a hobby. For you it's a full-time gig. What do you do for fun?
I used to be a wicked street hockey player, but now I am really into running long distances. I get excited about buying a new pair of running shoes just like I do a new kitchen tool.
We watched the trailer for The Contender—what you're up against here looks extremely intense. How did you deal with that kind of stress?
It is stressful and requires incredible focus. That's why I built a training kitchen in a decommissioned nuclear bunker. It was a place for me to go and train behind a 28-ton blast door. In other words: no distractions.
What's next for you in your food escapades?
Beyond my cooking classes and private dinning, I am getting ready to introduce an online version of my cooking classes for both novice and professional chefs.
Written by Amy Vosters