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A Chef Profile: Kerry Simon

I was sitting in seat 2A on my Delta Airlines flight from Jamaica to LAX when a figure dressed in black from head to toe sauntered down the aisle.  He sat down next to me, began to read a magazine and dramatically ripped out a Ben & Jerry’s ad.  “Do you have kids or are just a sweet tooth?”  I asked.  Little did I know I had the good fortune of sitting next to celebrity chef and restaurateur Kerry Simon.

Dubbed the “Rock n’ Roll Chef” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Simon is known for putting unique twists on American cuisine while utilizing his classic training.  He is the executive chef and proprietor at his namesake restaurant “Simon” at Palms Place in Las Vegas. His other restaurants include Simon LA, in Los Angeles, California, Simon Prime in Atlantic City, New Jersey and KGB in Las Vegas.

Kerry started out his culinary career at little Caesars Pizza hoping to make enough money to buy himself his first guitar.  This is where his interest in cooking began and has since spanned over 4 continents.

Kerry was nice enough to sit down with me to answer a few questions while feeling under the weather this past week:

LK: You have been dubbed the “rock and roll chef”  If there is one thing you want to be known for in your cooking style what would it be?

KS: That’s a tough question and I’d like to be known for more than one thing of course.  But if I had to answer I’d say I’d like to be known as a chef that bases his restaurants on many different people’s tastes and who doesn’t take just one direction.  I’d also like to be known for the team I put together because a restaurant in based on so many different people and the collective whole.

LK: What was your favorite country to cook in and why?

KS: I had a great experience in Hong Kong, London and Paris.  They were all amazing.  You learn something wherever you go and it’s all about how you apply it.   It really makes all the difference in the world that you are open minded when you cook in different countries.

LK: What is currently inspiring you?

KS: Lately I’ve been on a health kick.  I realized I’ve been eating too much sugar.  I’m really inspired by the raw movement currently.

LK: Chocolate or Vanilla?

KS: Chocolate!

LK:  What is your favorite sauce?

KS: it is ok to say ketchup?

LK: What was the last thing you ate?

KS: Chicken soup and Greek yogurt…not together

LK:  I always ask Chefs the 3 things they can’t live without in a kitchen?

KS: Wow that’s a hard one too…I guess I would have to say a juicer, olive oil and salt & pepper

LK: Those are good ones…so what’s next for Kerry Simon?

KS:  We just signed deal with the Hard Rock in Dominican Republic in Punta Cana opening in Summer..the concept hasn’t been defined yet but it’s going to be beach oriented and relevant for the space.

LK: Thanks so much Chef, looking forward to seeing what’s next…and hope you feel better.

Check out SimonLA at the Sofitel at 8555 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Stay tuned for more from LaurelK.com

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