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Chef Mark Estee: The Interview  


Campo Reno; Campo Mammoth; chez louie; Heritage; Glenbrook Club; Burger Me!



Reno, NV


Previous Experience: 

Hyatt Regency Resort: Boston, Lake Tahoe.  Lahontan Golf Club, Moody’s Bistro & Lounge.


Favorite Knife:

Shun, Ken Onion


What Drew You To Food? 

Watching my Dad make spaghetti sauce when I was growing up.


Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From? 

Reading, traveling, stages, paying attention, creative thinking processes.


What’s Next Up On Your Menu? 

Lobster Spaghetti with Uni and Bottarga


Latest Ingredient Obsession? 

My buddies sun dried tomatoes.  FUCKING amazing.  Greg’s Organics in Grass Valley CA


What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?

11pm at home, roasted turkey breast (Costco) (aka deli meat), Seaweed Salad (ditto) and a bottle of Siracha.


What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Cook For? 

Vince Lombardi


What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Becoming A Chef?

What Advice Would You Give Other Chefs? The best advice I ever received is all related to how to treat people, be consistent, don’t be afraid to fail.  My advice: this is a lot harder than it looks: if that sits well with you, you are on the right path.


What Other Local Chefs or Food Artisans Do You Admire? 

Reno is packed with unknown super stars.  Natalie and Carol from 4th St Bistro.  The Italian Stallions: Ivano and Alberto.  David Holoman at Charlie Palmer.  The Paganetti Family.  The Carano Family.  Troy and Colleen from LuLou’s.  Larry Dunning and his badass food.  All the managers and chefs who work with us in our company.  The nations best farmers and ranchers who provide us with all we need to kick ass:  Wendy, Jill, Isidro, Shelly, Jeanie, Norris, Karl, Alpine Ranch, Gary Romano, Mike Holcomb at Wolf Pack.  The list could go on forever!!


If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be and Where? 

This is a wacky answer, but Spaghetti O’s and Meatballs from a can.  This reminds me of growing up and I want to go out the way I came in!


Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience? 

2010, Italy, Emilia Romana Region, some trattoria outside of Reggiolo with Gianni D’Amato, his wife Fulvia and their son.  Hands down the best.  The simple foods, the lack of speaking due to language and the absolute love of doing what I get to do.


What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen? 

Early A.M. workouts at Anatomie Fitness in Reno NV.  Hanging with my two boys, Owen and Enzo.  Cooking egg whites for my understanding wife!


What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?

  1. "Jungle Book" by Louis Prima
  2. "Don't Believe The Hype" by Public Enemy
  3. "Scar Tissue" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  4. “Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin
  5. "Float On" by Modest Mouse
  6. "Summertime" by Ella Fitzgerald
  7. "Banquet" by Bloc Party
  8. "Crash Into Me" by Dave Matthews Band


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