Cutting-edge chef Randy Rucker doesn't even have a kitchen. Eating Our Words crashed a private event he booked to get a look at what keeps him the most sought-after renegade around.
Eating Our Words: What made you interested in molecular gastronomy?
Randy Rucker: I'm not a boxer, so don't put me in that "molecular" gastronomy box.
EOW: Well, what culinary box would you put yourself in then?
RR: A box without a lid. The more you think outside the box, you inadvertently put yourself in a smaller one.
EOW: You seem to be a one-man army, even going back to the Rainbow Lodge days. Can you do it alone?
RR: No. Someone has to be there to eat. Cooking is a two-part situation.
EOW: You've been labeled the "crudo king" for your execution of raw fish. Do you have any advice to the guys following your lead?
RR: I have worked with some of the greatest chefs in the world. With exposure comes experience. Stop. Go back to law school or something.
EOW: You don't seem to need a brick-and-mortar establishment. How do people book your limited-seating, private-dinner "Tenacity"?
RR: With a great deal of luck and timing.
EOW: What's the best trend in cooking today?
RR: It's the best, and the worst. I hate the modern food trend. It is the future of cuisine, but cooks in general are misusing it. Everything should have a purpose.
EOW: What do you eat when you're not the chef?
RR: Anything between two slices of bread.
EOW: Who influences your style?
RR: My peers. Anyone who cares about quality in their respective fields. Twelve minds are better than one.
EOW: If a restaurateur offered you the reins right now, would you accept?
RR: If someone approached me and said, "Randy, here is the cash, do your thing," I would say, "If the match is right, let's run with it."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
EOW: Any recipes for the home cook?
RR: Fuck recipes, learn techniques.
Overheard while watching Randy interact with his patrons.
"I'm a craftsman, not an artist." "Craftsman first, artist later." "Yeah, it's a natural hydro-colloid."