There's something about Wish that seems to make culinary dreams come true, and its latest superstar, Executive Chef Marco Ferraro, appears to be skipping along the same path as a long line of extraordinary talent. First was Gary Robins, who eventually ended up at The Russian Tea Room, then came Andrea Curto-Randazzo, co-owner of Talula; followed by E. Michael Reidt, awarded Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine; and Rising Star Chef Michael Bloise, who, last we heard, was private cheffing for a wealthy family.

And Ferraro is no slouch, either. A graduate of The French Culinary Institute in New York, he perfected his technique at Mantel and Le Muscandin, the acclaimed Michelin two-star restaurant, before becoming a Jean-Georges Vongerichten protégée. He also fanned the flames as chef de cuisine at Jack's La Jolla, a Mobil four-star, before Jessica Goldman Srebnick discovered him, whisked him away, and unleashed him and his Mediterranean-inspired inspirations on Miami Beach. (Good thing he's so good in the kitchen because, as you'll discover below, he wouldn't make for much of a comedian.)

Not enough background for you? Check out NBC's interview, or eyeball Jacob Katel's photo essay. But first, check out he not-too-dirty little secrets we squeezed out of the guy:

New Times: If you weren't a chef, what would you be?

Marco Ferraro: I would definitely be a DJ. I already work nights so I think I could handle the hours.

Interview: Marco Ferraro Gets the 10

NT: If you could serve a meal to any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you cook for him/her?

MF: Michael Jordan. He's been an idol of mine since I was a kid. I'd see what he likes to eat and do a tasting menu for him that would blow him away.

NT: What was your most embarrassing cooking-related moment?

MF: Years ago, I was personally serving an incredibly important VIP table of four people and when I went to place the plate in front of the guest, the food completely slid off the plate and -- splat -- right on the table. The only upside was it wasn't on the guest.

NT: What food/utensil/technique still confounds you?

MF: The Pacojet ice cream/sorbet spinning machine.

NT: What's your favorite food-/cooking-related joke?

MF: Q: What did Baby Corn say to Mamma Corn?
A: Where's Pop-corn?

NT: Which famous chef, alive or dead, would you like to shadow for a day (assuming you haven't already had the chance)?

MF: Chef Joël Robuchon.

NT: What is your dream culinary trip?

MF: Traveling throughout Asia and eating my way through the continent. It has such a rich, diverse and interesting food culture.

NT: What's the hottest thing a date could whip up for you in the kitchen?

MF: A delicious pasta dish. I was born and raised in Italy and [am] a total sucker for pasta.

NT: Why do you think restaurants are hotbeds for sexual activity/relationships?

MF: Food stimulates the palate and truly "speaks" to the senses: smell, taste, touch, etcetera. Also, let's be honest: Good food makes people happy and happy people are probably more in the mood for loving than unhappy people.

NT: How would you complete this sentence: Never trust a chef who/that...?

MF: Never trust a chef that looks dirty. Guaranteed they are dirty.


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