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.
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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.