Something always found in your kitchen: Kosher salt, good peppercorns, olive oil, and good balsamic.
Something always found in your fridge: Cheese.
You're relaxing on a night off. What are you drinking and eating?: After a long day/week of work, I love a great craft beer. My wife and I love to have wine-and-cheese night when we get time to ourselves -- a good Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot, a few different cheeses, some prosciutto, and we're all set.
And what are you listening to or watching?: I'm addicted to the Black Keys right now and usually try to catch up on some of the shows on my DVR. Very into Grimm.
Describe the menu at Lon's: Fresh, simple, flavorful, well-prepared, imaginative, and local whenever possible.
What's great about the American food scene right now?: The focus on local product, the explosion of farmer's markets and consumers starting to notice a difference in high quality, fresh product.
National/international chef you admire: There are many, but Daniel Boulud is at the top of the list. He's created a successful empire with so many different concepts, and look at how many successful and talented chefs have gone through his kitchens.
Where do you get inspiration for new dishes?: I'm inspired by what's in season from our local producers, reading cookbooks, and, as I mentioned, Art Culinaire helps with some ideas.
Advice you'd give an aspiring chef: Be patient. Your time will come. Nothing is handed to you in this business; you have to work for it and prove you deserve it.
Favorite thing to eat growing up: I ate a lot of fruit and still try to but don't as much as I should. Schnepf's Farm Peaches just came into season, and there's nothing like grabbing one of their peaches, taking a bite, and having the juices run down your arm.
Your guilty pleasure: Cheese.
Most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you as a chef: I remember one of my German chefs tearing into me in the kitchen as a junior sous chef and having one of our longtime cooks turn to me and say, "Don't cry, Pacheco, don't cry." Of course, I didn't, but that is something that always sticks out.
Name a culinary mentor and explain what you learned from this person: Peter Hoefler was the chef I spoke of above. He taught me a lot and really pushed me forward in my career. But you take something different from every chef you work with whether good or bad.
Local chef you admire and why: Very happy to see how well Justin Beckett is doing right now and am looking forward to his new place.
If you weren't a chef, what would you be?: A farmer. It's the family business.
Pet peeve in the kitchen: Not working clean, neat, and organized.
Pet peeve as a restaurant customer: Servers who don't know the menu or the dishes.
Name two local dishes you love to eat: Bone marrow and charcuterie at Pig & Pickle. Last meal on Earth: Osso bucco and polenta.
What should be written on your headstone?: Good Dad, Good Husband, Good Cook.
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