Editor’s note: The Decorah Stories Questionnaire is inspired by the “Proust Questionnaire,” a set of confessional questions popularized in the Victorian era as a parlor game. The “Decorah Stories Questionnaire” contains 24 questions and respondents were asked to answer 4-6 questions. A full list of questions can be found here.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Probably one of my cats… completely pampered lifestyle, lots of love, plenty of space to stare out windows or sleep. I think cats really got it figured out how to live the good life.
What is your most treasured possession?
Probably my cookbook collection… not only because of the extensive knowledge collected over many, many years but many of the books represent different times in my life and where i was personally, professionally and even mentally.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Depending on who you talk to… I am either very hardworking or completely insane about working on projects. I for sure like to keep very busy.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Joses Andres: not only a very important Spanish chef that immigrated to America, but also had a huge influence over the past two decades of introducing Spanish cuisine through many restaurants. More importantly he has been working on humanitarian efforts to keep Cubans feed and supported over the past 4 years of all the natural disasters that have befallen the island nation. All with little fanfare or support from our own government. He has been recommend to receive the Nobel Peace prize.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
It pains me to say Anthony Bourdain since we have only just lost him… but his book “Kitchen Confidential” had just come out around the same time as I started to cook professionally… and most of us young cooks took it as our bible on how to become “bad-ass” chefs… granted 20 years later, it wasn’t really they way to go but it did make for a really fun time to learn and model ourselves on someone who had seen it all and made it.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I’m personally not sure it’s completely attainable… for me it’s more of a moving goalpost because once you are “perfectly” happy…. what happens then? do you just stop trying to achieve anything else? I think happiness is that goal that’s just within reach but makes you keep going forward and doing better everyday.