Q&A with Chef Rafael Velazquez of Härth at Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook

Favorite Guilty Pleasure Food…Applewood smoked bacon.
What I Never Do in the Kitchen…Sit, because I’m always on the go.
What Chefs Talk About When They Get Together…Starting out as entry-level/line cooks and how far they have come.
The Best Dish I Have Ever Had…The ahi tuna and foie gras at Le Bernardin.
A Food Fad I Can Do Without…The overuse of ginger.
If Not a Chef, I’d Be…in the music business. The culinary and music disciplines are similar; both are creative and inspirational.
Favorite Kitchen Utensil…The Microplane is the most efficient and versatile tool.
Last Book Read…The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin—a very interesting book, especially the section on the beginning of his career.  
I Never Eat…okra. No way, no how.
Favorite Late-Night Snack…Chobani Greek yogurt, any flavor.
My Favorite Cookbooks…The French Laundry Cookbook, The New Food Lover’s Companion, and any Daniel Boulud cookbook.
Famous People I’ve Cooked for…Nas, Scottie Pippen, Jennifer Lopez, Cindy Crawford, Marc Anthony, Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Beltran.
My Dream…is to open my own restaurant. It would be dinner-only, and the menu would change according to seasonality and availability of product.
Unnecessary Culinary Implement…The sashimi knife.

Hilton Westchester
699 Westchester Ave, Rye Brook
(914) 939-6300

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