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.

July's Featured Chef: Keith Breedlove, Owner and Chef, Culinerdy Crüzer and Official California State Fair Chef

Chef Keith is a California Restaurant Association Member and will be presenting a culinary demonstration at the upcoming Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo on Monday, August 24.

What made you want to become a chef?
My Grandfather Dale Breedlove. He told me when I was 12 that if I worked in a restaurant I would never be unemployed or hungry. He was right and 30 years later he's still right.

What was your favorite class in culinary school?
My favorite class was Garde Manger. Loved the skill of using everything, the skills and precision it required. That and the teacher was passionate about her craft.

What is the newest trend you see emerging?
Charcuterie. I love seeing more and more chefs returning to the roots and making their own salamis, sausages etc

What’s the strangest thing we would find in your refrigerator? 
That it is usually empty

If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be?
A small village somewhere in the South of Italy.

Is there one comfort food that you're secretly obsessed with having at home?
Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy

Which talent would you most like to have that you don't possess?
Understanding people

What’s your favorite meal to cook for friends?
Roasted chicken and artichoke risotto

Who was your mentor as you were becoming a chef?
Chef Masahina Nishiyama who was the Executive Chef of the Hyatt in Sacramento in the 90's. He inspired me to learn more and more. Study all.

If you could cook for and dine with anyone, who would that be?
My Grandfather, he passed in 2000. I'd love to show him how successful I've become.

More about Chef Keith Breedlove: 

Chef Keith is currently the Owner and Chef Cülinerdy Crüzer food truck and Catering, the Official California State Fair Chef, Host of Cülinerdy Kitchen segment Fox 40 and an ACF Certified Executive Chef. He is a 25 year veteran of hotels and restaurants including Newark Fremont Hilton, Doubletree Modesto, Nordstrom Cafe Bistro and Corporate Chef for Guy Fieri. TV Appearances have included: Cutthroat Kitchen Guy's Grocery Games Pro Chef for upcoming FYI network show Guy's Big backyard bite Host of #Foodtrucklife web series.


June Chef Insights - Rob Valencia, Great Performances
May Chef Insights - Marc Murphy, Benchmarc Restaurants
April Chef Insights - Megan Johnson, Casellula
March Chef Insights - Sara Moulton, Chef, Cookbook Author, TV Personality

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