All the pre-made sauces in a jar, and frozen and canned vegetables, processed meats, and cheeses which are loaded with artificial ingredients and sodium can get in the way of a healthy diet. My number one advice is to eat fresh, and seasonally.
I call it an old-fashioned seafood house for the new millennium. We are trying to update what we know as old fish houses and places like that, which are great, but I want to give it a new, fresh look with updated versions of the classics we all love.
I liked the energy of cooking, the action, the camaraderie. I often compare the kitchen to sports and compare the chef to a coach. There are a lot of similarities to it.
I use a lot of spices, fresh veggies and fruit, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, avocado, soybeans and organic ingredients as often as possible. We need fat in our diets and using the healthier fats is key.
I think a lot of people have a misconception of what the kitchen is about, but you know the grueling part of it is also the pleasure of it. That's why I think you have to have a certain mentality to understand what that is and be able to handle it.
Having been to Europe and working and traveling there, the restaurants my wife and I remember were always off the beaten trail restaurants. So I tried to seek a little 'off the beaten trail,' but cool area.
I enjoy the creative side of the business side of being a restaurateur. That's my thing. The thing I'm constantly thinking about is, how do you create new, interesting situations that keep people coming back?
Absolutely, there is a connection between food and love. I always say, when there's love in my heart or I'm feeling particularly good, the food comes out that much better. And so I think Valentine's Day is a special day.
I find more people want to eat a little less. My generation, we're all watching our figures. They want to go to the bar and eat a few snacks, have a couple of cocktails or glasses of wine, and go home. People don't sit down at the table and have a whole three or four courses.
I'm definitely nervous and excited. I feel like I've been playing off-Broadway, not to say that Boston doesn't have a great theatre district or great theatre, but it's not going to Broadway; it's just a different city.
Like anything, you don't force kids to cook. It just becomes part of life - have them be around it, keep them informed - talk about it. I try to relay my passion for it in these ways. The second you try to force anything on your own kid, they rebel.
I played from the time I was seven years old. My father was my first baseman coach. I had opportunities that I never really pursued - with some Miami teams and a few larger colleges, and then I ended up bailing and began cooking.
We have a training period; we have certain guidelines and structure. You can't hire talented people and stifle them. That's not the way it works anymore.
I believe in eating smaller meals more often throughout the day to keep the metabolism going. Don't deprive yourself, just make better choices. At 50 years old it is definitely a lot harder to stay in shape then it was when I was in my 20's.
We'll serve, on a good Saturday night six or seven thousand people in all the restaurants, and it's like, the percentages are that maybe one person's not going to like what they get. And I can't be there to fix it. I hate that. We're in this business to make things that please people.
Turkey, unlike chicken, has very elegant characteristics. It has more of a cache than chicken. Turkey is a delicacy, so it should be presented in such a way.
Some of the things I think I learned from that were very educational as far as just paying bills - the basics in dealing with a restaurant like that. It was just life - the education involved in running the organization, even on a small level.
I've got a really great team around me. They're the ones that are in the restaurants on a day to day basis. Anyone that's good can't be stifled in any way. I don't baby people.
I try to get them working. My older son is 10 and he's pretty interested. We had a dinner party the other night and he helped a lot. He helped peel asparagus; he hung out. It was great.