Top Chef Insights

Ever wondered whether a Master Chef's guilty pleasure is simply peanut butter or mac 'n cheese? Want to find out what the latest menu trends will be for the coming season? Always wondered who inspires some of the leading chefs in the industry? We've asked these questions and have the answers for you here.

View archived Top Chef Insights interviews.

March's Featured Chef: Sara Moulton, Chef, Cookbook Author, Television Personality

Sara Moulton we be presenting a headlining culinary demonstration at the upcoming International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, on March 9, 2015 from 12:30pm - 1:30pm. She will also be part of the Women's Entrepreneurs Circle panel discussion on Sunday, March 8 at 10:00am.

What made you want to become a chef?
Well for starts, I love to eat. But, starting in high school, I did a lot of cooking at home and it was my passion. It took a huge nudge from my Mom (she wrote to Craig Claiborne and Julia Child to get their advice) to make me realize that I could make it a career.

What was your favorite class in culinary school?
Creating a restaurant, every part of it, from scratch

What is the newest trend you see emerging?
Well, it is more ongoing than emerging and I would say - locally sourced ingredients, foraged ingredients, more of an emphasis on vegetables.

Who was your mentor as you were becoming a chef?
Oh, I am lucky to have had several - Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Sally Darr (the chef owner of La Tulipe, a restaurant I worked at).

What’s the strangest thing we would find in your refrigerator?  (and would you send us a photo?)
Not really strange, but homemade kimchi. Every time I open that bottle I feel like I have let the devils out, it is so fragrant (but I love it).

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be? 
A cozy bistro in Paris or Lyons, any really good one will do.

Is there one comfort food that you're secretly obsessed with having at home?
Peanut M&Ms are in my freezer right now.

Which talent would you most like to have that you don't possess?
Better organizational skills.

What’s your favorite meal to cook for friends?
Braised short ribs of beef.

If you could cook for and dine with anyone, who would that be?
My family, the husband and my two grown kids, we have so much fun.

More about Chef Sara Moulton: 

Sara Moulton, nationally recognized chef, television host, author and educator has had an esteemed and illustrious career spanning over three decades. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Sara spent seven years working in restaurants throughout the US and Europe, including a stint at La Tulipe in New York City, before leaving the kitchen in favor of recipe-testing and development.  Sara’s TV career began in 1979 when she was hired to work behind the scenes on public television's “Julia Child & More Company.”  Her mentorship and close relationship with Julia Child eventually led to a position at “Good Morning  America,” where what began as a behind-the-scenes position grew into her on-camera role as food editor, a position she held for over a decade. In 1997, Sara started working at the Food Network, hosting “Cooking Live” and later “Sara’s Secrets,” which ran through 2005. Sara is also the author of several cookbooks including Sara Moulton Cooks at Home (2002), Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals (2005), Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners (2010) and a fourth cookbook scheduled for release in the spring of 2016. The latest milestone in her pioneering career includes the debut of the fourth season of public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals,” her newest cooking show focused around her true passion of helping home cooks get dinner on the table each night. The fifth seasons of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” will premier in the fall of 2015.

Sara is also the founder of the New York Women's Culinary Alliance, an "old girl's network" designed to help women culinary professionals, which she founded in 1981.  


February Chef Insights - Barret Beyer, Hell's Kitchen
January Chef Insights - Anton Testino, Mulberry Street Cafe
November Chef Insights - David Binkle, Los Angeles Unified School District
October Chef Insights - Alan Ogard, Lexington Hotel
September Chef Insights
- Barbie Marshall, The Farming Chef
August Chef Insights - Cal DeMercurio, Corporate Executive Chef, Black Bear Diner
July Chef Insights - Johannes Bernau, Executive Chef, Who Song & Larry's
June Chef Insights - Ryan Vargas, Chef de Cuisine at Emeril's Tchoup Chop