Chef Andres blends traditional and modern tastes

Tue Nov 4, 2008 11:44am EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Jose Andres has been credited with bringing modern Spanish cooking to the United States but the 39-year-old chef said his culinary taste is a blend of his upbringing and training.

Andres cited his parents for instilling in him a love for cooking. Whenever his father made paella for family and friends he put his son in charge of the fire. By 12, the younger Andres had mastered the traditional Spanish rice and seafood dish.

He pursued his culinary passion and trained with famed Spanish chef Ferran Adria, a pioneer of molecular gastronomy.

Since moving to the U.S. in 1990, Andres has been the head chef and partner in a string of popular restaurants in Washington. He is also the host of "Made in Spain," a U.S. television food and travel series which debuted earlier this year.

He spoke to Reuters about his passion for cooking and why he does not like to eat alone:

Q: How do you describe your cuisine?

A: "My cooking is a kind of a reflection of what I grew up with from the perspective of where I live today -- never leaving one or the other, but the two things. While I went down this road, my team and I developed a creative process that allows us to create new concepts, sometimes based on new cultures. I think we are like anthropologists."

Q: Who inspired you to become A chef?   Continued...

<p>Chef Jose Andres is seen in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Handout/ Pablo de Loy/ Courtesy THINKfood Group</p>