This year, Tory McPhail will celebrate his 15th anniversary as the executive chef of the legendary Commander’s Palace in New Orleans.
1. One thing you don’t know about me is that I love the outdoors – kayaking, fishing and hunting, though I rarely get the time to experience it.
2. If I could trade places with one chef it would be Mario Batali. He’s an all around great guy and a role model who has created an empire and consistently fantastic food.
3. If there were no Mexican food or dairy, I’d have no reason to live. I love a glass of ice-cold chocolate milk or a great cheese, and who doesn’t love butter?
4. My go-to drink is really strong coffee in the morning and great tequila at night.
5. If I were on death row my last meal would be crispy softshell crab, but it would really depend on what time of year I was going to die.
6. If I could change one thing about me I wish I had more than 24 hours in a day. I can’t live the way I want and do all that I want in only 24 hours.
7. My favorite junk food is Whoppers, Butterfingers and PayDay candy bars.
8. If I wasn’t a restaurant operator I’d love to be a professional fishing guide.
9. If I could have a meal with anyone living or dead, I’d have a pre-concert meal with Janis Joplin, who’d be opening for the Grateful Dead, and an after meal with the Beatles, or vice versa.
10. What would you make them? I’d serve them all my favorite comfort foods—a great French dip sandwich, fish and chips with big crunchy pieces of shrimp in tempura batter, seared Kobe beef, softshell crabs and black pepper-seared shrimp with garlic butter. Oh, and anything with mushrooms.