Interview with Chef Michael Cimarusti of Water Grill - Los Angeles, CA

March , 2004

Antoinette Bruno: Why did you start cooking? What was your inspiration?
Michael Cimarusti: My grandmother and great-grandmother were both Italian immigrants, and they had a great appreciation of food. When I was young, my parents took us kids along with them to fine dining restaurants.

AB: What are your favorite ingredients to use in the kitchen?
MC: Fish and other international marine products.

AB: What is your most indispensable kitchen tool?
MC: Bamix immersion blender.

AB: Where do you like to go for culinary travel?
MC: San Sebastian and the Tsukiji fish market in Toyko.

AB: What is your favorite interview question to ask during an interview for a potential line cook?
MC: What is your motivation? What brings you to my door? How do you feel about sweeping and mopping?

AB: What is your advice to culinary students?
MC: Be voracious, read. Go out and eat so you can experience restaurants. Shop, cook. Taste things, immerse yourself. Don’t get complacent. Save your pittance.

AB: What are your favorite culinary books?
MC: Essential Cuisine and The Notebooks of Michel Bras: Desserts. Michel is a very intellectual chef. It’s interesting how he cooks using medicinal herbs.

AB: Where do you see yourself in five years?
MC: Owning and operating a small fine dining restaurant.