#VINO4: Q&A with chef Bryan Forgione
Cool People. 4 Questions. 1 Bottle of Wine. VINO4
Bryan Forgione, son of famous chef Larry Forgione, got his start at his dad’s Manhattan restaurant, An American Place. His career took off in 2008 when he headed to Wynn Resort in Las Vegas to become Executive Chef at Society Café. It was named in Esquire Magazine’s Top 20 Best New Restaurants list in 2009.
In 2012, Bryan won Food Network’s Iron Chef America; he was invited to chef at both the Culinary Institute of America’s Pioneers of American Cooking Awards and the James Beard Foundation’s Gala Awards 2012.
In 2013, Bryan teamed up again with Blau Associates and “The Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro to open Buddy V’s Ristorante in the Venetian/Palazzo Resort where he’s Executive Chef.
You’ve said, “My family has always been and continues to be a tremendous influence.” How have your father and brother influenced your approach to food and life? What other family members play an important part in your life?
That’s a big question to answer. Everyone in my family plays such an important part in my life in their own way; I’ve been blessed to have such great people around me, they all play a big role in why I enjoy life! But if I have to single anyone out, it would be my wife Piper. She is such a strong woman who is always taking care of me and our kids. I’d be lost without her. My dad is the reason I started cooking — he was always supportive, understanding and gave me the space and freedom to become my own man; I have learned great value in that there is something amazingly simple about my fathers approach to cooking, he cares about the food and the ingredients, he understands them and how they work together. My brother Marc has a wild outside-the-box approach to cooking that works so well for him, he loves breaking down barriers but with a simple viewpoint on food as well that was instilled by our father. His approach inspires me to step outside the norm during creative times when cooking and in life as well!
Your passion is barbecue. Tell us about how you got hooked on it and what you love about it as a food.
Cooking over fire has probably been around since man figured out how to make fire, so there is something primitive you connect with when you decide to fire up the pit. You pay respect and homage to a craft that has been in the works for tens of thousands of years, maybe longer! Barbecue truly is an art form. Understanding temperatures, meats, air flow, timing, flavors takes practice, dedication and patience! The single most important thing to remember when barbecuing is temperature. Knowing the fire and how to maintain it properly is how you will control your temperature. Barbecue is not just about food, it has an energy or more like an attitude, for me it involves friends, family and good rock n roll! It should be an experience, and always a fun one.
How did it feel to be on Food Network’s Iron Chef America battling it out alongside your brother Marc against Joe and Lou Campanaro?
It was an honor to be able to do that show, we had a blast! The Campanaro brothers were great competitors. A bit nerve-racking at first, new kitchen, 5 dishes, 1 hour…it didn’t seem like we were going to make it but in the last 5 minutes it all came together and we were able to take home the win!
Tell us about the last romantic meal you had with your wife. Where? What did you have?
Honestly, breakfast is one of our favorite things to go out for. We went to The Cracked Egg and had their famous house-made coffee cake and breakfast skillet – crispy sweet potatoes with sautéed broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes and bacon topped with 2 poached eggs and Cholula! Their food touches the soul the way comfort food should.
Bonus Question: My 3-year-old would like to know your preference on water.
Sparkling with a fresh lime!