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This is the ninth article of a 10-part series featuring interviews with chefs competing in the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014.
In just a few days, American chef Tim Maslow will showcase his cooking skills in Venice during the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014. Maslow, the chef behind the celebrated Ribelle restaurant in Boston, will compete in the special regatta that features a race-within-a-race.
As sailors cross the Venetian Lagoon, chefs will be below deck preparing a special dish for a panel of judges that includes Gaston Acurio and Helena Rizzo. The event will all take place from June 13th to 15th.
Maslow, who trained with David Chang at Momofuku, will face off with nine international chefs for the coveted S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Young Chef of the Year Award. They will also compete for the People's Choice Award and the first-ever Critic's Choice Award, both sponsored by Acqua Panna.
Since Maslow's restaurant is named after the Italian word for rebel, Fine Dining Lovers wanted to know his thoughts about Italian cuisine. Here's what he had to say just days before the big event:
Formerly you were…
I am and always have been a cook. I grew up at my Dad’s restaurant, Strip T’s, which opened a year after I was born.
You decided to become a chef because…
My parents opened [Strip-T's] together, and I started working there [and Goodnoe Dairy Bar in Pennsylvania] when I was 16. I think when I started to get into a lot of trouble in middle school and high school, it made sense for me to work in a kitchen. I was able to be myself. I was able to curse and carry on and play with fire.
Was there an experience or a person that contributed to your decision to become a chef?
What would you like the judges to know about you?
For my first job in a kitchen, I was a dishwasher. It was six months of that and it was brutal. Don’t let anybody ever tell you that the dishwasher isn’t the hardest-working person in a restaurant. From there I learned speed, cleanliness, and organization. Looking back, I suppose it was important to my growth.
What do you think of Italian cuisine?
The cuisine at my restaurant, Ribelle, is defined as progressive Italian fusion. I am very excited to taste and work with the local and seasonal ingredients of the Veneto region and have some fun with them for this competition.