Executive chef John Critchley
|Chef John Critchley|
of Area 31
seems to be a man of few words--as is evidenced by his interview below--but perhaps that's because his focus is more on action, nowadays.
As a matter of fact, on November 20, he'll present a donation check to the Marine Mammal Conservancy
in Key Largo reflecting profits from his restaurant's pre-fixe menu featuring locally caught, sustainable seafood. (Did you know the restaurant was named for Fishing Area 31
, a region of the Western Central Atlantic comprising the entire Florida coast, Central America, and northern South America? Yup. All fishies in there are short-line caught.)
Thankfully, he didn't clam up entirely when we hit him with The 10. [Get it? Clam up?!? Har!] Anyway, here's what he had to say:
New Times: What was your best or worst dining experience?
John Critchley: Went to a "celebrity chef" dining spot in San Francisco by myself after a long day of crunching numbers. After placing my order, I waited about 30 minutes, then a bus boy dropped my check... However, never did I get my food or drink. Turns out the server was "cut" due to lack of business. I guess we can see why.
NT: Which famous chef, alive or dead, would you like to shadow for a day (assuming you haven't already had the chance)?
NT: What is your dream culinary trip?
, with an unlimited budget and no potential for weight gain.
NT: How many fellow cooks, servers, bartenders, etc. do you estimate you've hooked up with in your lifetime?
JC: Two. I am mostly attracted to women that have nothing to do with the industry.
NT: Why do you think restaurants are hotbeds for sexual activity/relationships?
JC: Apparently I missed that boat by focusing on what I was doing, not who I was doing.
NT: What food/utensil/technique still confounds you?
JC: That thing you roll the garlic cloves in to remove the peel. Do you really need that?
NT: Which chef, alive or dead, would you like to challenge in Iron Chef fashion? Why do you believe you could kick his or her ass in the kitchen?
NT: What's your favorite food-/cooking-related joke?
JC: Did you remember to set a timer?
NT: What's your favorite soundtrack/song to cook to?
JC: Silence. No radios in my kitchen.
NT: If you weren't a chef, what would you be?
JC: Surfing and selling coconuts.