Food has power. It was something my mom instilled in me at a young age. The power to bring people to together, to create and evoke memories, to do so much more than provide sustenance. My mother used food to bring the entire family together and create powerful memories when we often did not have much. It was at that early age that I realized, I too want to feed people.
What are your hobbies outside of the kitchen?
This is probably one of my least favorite interview questions, and yet I hear it all the time. My life revolves around food. Even when I’m not in the kitchen, I’m thinking about food, I’m thinking about eating, I’m scrolling on social media looking at food and other chefs, I’m trying to decide what to eat for dinner when I haven’t even had breakfast or lunch yet. Food and eating isn’t just a job, it is everything. Other than that, I love my kitten Uni, I am a big proponent of cannabis, and I am obsessed with my never-ending family of house plants. My girlfriend and I live in an urban jungle.
Everyone remembers their first encounter with burrata. What is yours?
Is it bad if I don’t remember my first encounter with burrata? How about this, if I had a choice between burrata or mozzarella, I’d choose burrata any day of the week. I am now, and will forever always, be hooked on the good stuff. Besides, how can you resist the surge of emotions when you break into one of those little balls of heaven.
If you could make dinner for one person, who would it be?
My mother. I would love to be able to give back to her for everything she has given to me. To show her how far I have come and how much I have accomplished. She passed away abruptly from cancer when I was 20, before I had finished college or started cooking professionally.
What is your favorite dish to cook and why?
Depends, if I’m cooking for other people, definitely pasta. There is a magical moment, you can see it in people’s eyes, when they eat properly made pasta for the first time. The harmonious marriage between pasta and sauce, sauce and pasta, when two become one. It is something I cherish being able to share with others.
If I’m cooking for myself…that’s easy, nachos.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as a chef?
As silly as it may sound, probably doing as well as I did on Top Chef. Considering I almost didn’t go on the show and was almost talking myself out of it. I was a huge skeptic and part of the bandwagon that was against television chefs and shows that promoted “drama” rather than “cooking”. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The entire experience was like a culinary bootcamp, and opened my mind to an entirely different way to think about food. Don’t let all the glits and glam fool you, the show was all cooking and no drama, a serious and powerful competition.
If you you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Don’t blow off learning another language, learn SPANISH and stick with it!! Just trust me, being in a kitchen, let alone a leader in a kitchen; speaking fluent Spanish is one of the most important skills you can have in this industry.
Cameron Slaugh is our Chef of the Month for November!
November 2, 2017
Harada San is our Chef of the Month for May!
May 3, 2017
Theresia Ota is our Chef of the Month for February!