What other chefs inspire Alex Stratta?
Another one was actually a sous chef at the Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where I really got an understanding of just a pure passion for the actual art of cooking. The chef, Alain Ducasse, was the luminary, but the guy behind the scenes was the passion incarnate. I mean, everything was so passionate, every detail was — he was in love with the food. Now, I wouldn’t go so far to say that I’m in love with the food, but to be able to see that there’s that level of expression is really remarkable.
And not the focused type where there’s nothing else. He was in love with anything fine. He just happened to focus it on food, and it was contagious. And even today, if I’m turning artichokes, I think back of how important these things were to this guy, and it was just one artichoke on one plate, 25 years ago. And so I like that. You can’t really point to what that something is that makes people — makes it — it’s like listening to a good piece of music and you get the chills. It’s that feeling that you wonder where it comes from.