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.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.