To Die For Face: Chef Umberto Menghi

Q: Will you show us your ‘to die for face’? (This is the expression occurring at the taste of ‘to die for food’ – you know the one!)

A: See left.

Q: Name the food you would most often describe as, ‘to die for’.

A: Caviar.

Q: What is your favorite Vancouver restaurant?

A: There are a lot of good restaurants in Vancouver.  I have a lot of friends and a lot of colleagues so I dont want to mention one and then offend the other.  Vancouver is very, very strong and very, very solid…many professional restaurants.  I’m very proud of Vancouver.  It’s always great to come home and say, ‘Oh god, this is great food.’  I’m very proud.

Q: What is your trashy indulgence? (i.e. that late night 7/11 or drive-thru treat.)

A:  I do call for the pizza deliveries, but I make up my own pizza.  I tell them what to do.

Q: Is there a food you refuse to eat because you were sick after eating it?

A: No, I never got sick but I think the worst I ever tasted was snake.  But it tasted like chicken so I was okay with it.  It was here in Vancouver in someone’s home – I cannot mention their name.  They wanted to trick me.  They thought I knew everything about food so they said it was a beautiful young chicken and then afterwards they told me it was snake.  It was a beautiful sweet flavor, but I’m scared of snakes.

Q: What is the sexiest food?

A: My wife.  All food is sexy if you do it at the right time.  Before the time is too soon…after the time is too late.

Q: What is your favorite dessert?

A: I don’t eat dessert – a little fresh fruit sometimes to clean the palette.  But if I had to have a dessert, maybe a little biscotti with vincante, to create an extension for another glass of wine.

Q: What is your favorite comfort food?

A: Something warm.  I always think of a nice pasta dish…even the process of boiling water, putting a little sea salt in it, using a long pasta like spaghetti – bubbling and dancing in the water – then draining it out.  It’s so shiny.  Put a bit of extra virgin olive oil, chopped fresh tomato, a little basil, a touch of garlic, toss it, sit down, have a glass of wine, and enjoy.

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