Monthly Industry Insights
Hear from industry leaders their guilty pleasures, the oddest thing in their refrigerator, their inspirations and take on new trends. We've asked all of questions and have the answers for you here.
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May's Featured Interview: Ricky Estrellado, Executive Chef, Nobu New York
Chef Ricky recently demonstrated Nobu's most iconic dish - Black Cod with Miso - as part of the Torch Award presentation to Myriad Restaurant Group's Drew Nieporent at the recent International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York that took place in March.
What made you want to become a chef?
I've always loved eating growing up in the Philippines. I remember our parents used to take us to restaurants to celebrate a special occasion and I was always curious on how to make the dishes that we had. I would try cooking at home and when I saw how I made people happy after they ate, I decided that this is what I want to do.
What was your favorite class in culinary school?
Regional and International cuisines
What is the newest trend you see emerging?
I would say fast-casual concepts that feature higher quality ingredients.
What’s the strangest thing we would find in your refrigerator?
Fermented shrimp paste - back home we use it as a condiment for green mangoes, as a sauce for grill items, and use it to make stews and sauces.
If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be?
I really want go and eat Cochinillo from Spain. I want to see them chop the meat with a plate.
Is there one comfort food that you're secretly obsessed with having at home?
Boom chocolatta from Ben & Jerry's is my favorite right now
Which talent would you most like to have that you don't possess?
Playing good enough golf for the PGA.
What’s your favorite meal to cook for friends?
It depends on who I'm cooking for. If it's friends from my childhood I would cook them dishes that I do at Nobu, but if it's from here I would introduce them to my version of Filipino cuisine.
Who was your mentor as you were becoming a chef?
Chef Lorrie Reynoso from my cooking school and Chef Chris Gesuladi from when I was at Montrachet. the both taught how to be a chef and helped me succeed in this industry
If you could cook for and dine with anyone, who would that be?
My late Father. I never really had a chance to cook for him since he was in another country.
More about Chef Ricky Estrellado:
As a young man, Ricky Estrellado worked for Grand Air Caterers, preparing meals for a diverse clientele, including Malaysian Airlines and United Airlines. Here, he realized his passion for cooking and left his home in the Philippines for culinary school in New York City.
Ricky immersed himself in his studies with such focus and dedication that it wasn’t long before his talent earned recognition among his professors and peers. He graduated first in his class at the New York Restaurant School in 1994. After a brief stint at Montrachet in Tribeca, owner Drew Nieporent brought Ricky to join his team at a new restaurant he was opening called Nobu. The rest is history. Nobu’s new style Japanese cuisine has received the accolade of virtually every major culinary organization around the world.
Ricky quickly worked his way up from prep cook to Chef de Cuisine of Nobu New York. He assisted in the opening and training of staff for Nobu Next Door in 1998 and Nobu Las Vegas in 1999. He is currently responsible for the hot kitchens of both Nobu New York and Nobu Next Door as Executive Chef.
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