5 Questions for Joshua Whigham
Joshua Whigham is chef de cuisine at Jose Andres' Bazaar at the SLS Hotel, L.A.'s Philippe Starck-designed temple of modern and traditional Spanish cuisine. Whigham's from Florida -- so he likes orange juice, but also calves liver sashimi....
What’s coming up next on your menu? We have a lot of vegetables sourced from the farmers market. We have tomato watermelon skewers, "Saam's Garden," smoked yellowtail with crispy rice, local melon and jamon iberico. My big goal for this year is to bring in as much local produce as I can to a large operation like the Bazaar, and show that it can work on a large scale.
Latest ingredient obsession? Tofu. I use it at home and am working on something for the restaurant. Learned a technique from my mother-in-law — it's a form of deep-fried tofu, but I won’t give anything away yet.
What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? Raku in Honda Plaza in downtown. I order the calves liver sashimi, clams with udon, squid pancake, tofu and mizuna salad— with Kirin Ichiban and shiso shochu.
The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives? My mini offset spatula. I use it for everything — it's my best friend in the kitchen. Use it for folding over ravioli, flipping scallops while you're searing them — really everything.
What was the last cookbook you read — and what inspired you to pick it up? Carles Abellan's "Las Tapas de Comerc 24." He's a well-known chef in Barcelona who makes great traditional and modern tapas—it’s great to pull inspiration from guys who are doing what we're doing.
The Bazaar, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 246-5555; www.thebazaar.com.
Photo credit: Robert Catrini