Podcast Episode 39

From Addiction to Graduating Culinary School with Honors

Parker Wilks-Bryant | 33 Minutes | April 19, 2022

In today’s episode we’re speaking with Parker Wilks-Bryant, an Escoffier graduate who overcame addiction to not only graduate with honors, but also complete an externship at Pujol, considered by many to be the best restaurant in Mexico City, and is currently ranked the 9th best restaurant in the world by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Today, Parker works for Caruso’s, a Michelin Guide restaurant, where he continues to sharpen his skills. He dreams of one day marrying his love of cooking with a second-chance restaurant that helps recovering addicts find hope, healing, and a way forward.

Join us today as we chat with Parker about his journey out of a dark place and into the kitchen.

Watch the podcast episode:

Video thumbnail play
Notes & Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Kirk Bachmann: Hi everyone, my name is Kirk Bachmann, and welcome back to The Ultimate Dish. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Parker Wilks-Bryant, an Escoffier graduate who overcame addiction to not only graduate with honors, but also complete an externship at Pujol, considered by many to be the best restaurant in Mexico City, and currently ranked the ninth best restaurant in the world by World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Join us today as we chat with Parker about his journey out of a dark place and into the kitchen.

And there he is! Good morning. Welcome, Parker! How are you?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Doing well today. How are you?

Kirk Bachmann: I’m good. I’m good. The sun is pouring in behind you. You’re clearly on the West Coast, right?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Yes, sir. I’m living in Southern California, sunny Santa Barbara.

Kirk Bachmann: Beautiful. Beautiful place to be. More than anything, I want to congratulate you on finding time out of your increasingly busy schedule to chat with us. Super, super excited. Congrats on graduating during a pandemic. Graduating from the ground campus here in Boulder. Super exciting.

Everything has been so much more difficult over the last couple of years. How are things going for you in general? We’ll talk about your experience in Mexico, but what’s the vibe and the culture in California like? Are there still mask requirements in the restaurants?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Actually, the mask mandate was lifted a couple weeks after I got here. I got here about a month and a half ago. Here in Santa Barbara, it’s nice and more laid back. It’s not any little bit pretentious. Nothing bad going on here. It’s actually a very warm, welcoming community. I met a great group of guys right off the bat when I got here. There’s just a wonderful fellowship in this town from what I’ve gotten to know of it so far. I’m very happy to be here.

Kirk Bachmann: Are you a surfer? Do you head to the waves?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Soon to be. Yeah. Some of my roommates have some extra boards and wet suits, so I figured this summer, once the water warms up a little bit, I’m going to try and get out on the waves.

Training for a Michelin Inspector

Kirk Bachmann: Not easy to find a time, working. Are you working as much, or are you trying to chill a little bit?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Right now I’m working anywhere from five to six nights a week. I got a job at a restaurant in Michelin Guide. Their name is Caruso’s in Montecito. They’re in Michelin Guide and going for their first stars this year. The standards are extremely high. I’m actually undergoing Michelin training on April 4 and 5.

Kirk Bachmann: Wow!

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Every guest that we serve is suspected to be a Michelin inspector. It’s a very big topic. They talk about it every single day. When things are going either good or bad, they constantly remind us that any diner is a suspected Michelin inspector. Every plate that goes out of the kitchen is well-inspected. For every detail, for every garnish, whether a micro-grain is off place, and we garnish with odd numbers instead of even numbers, and no patterns in food. All very natural looking.

Kirk Bachmann: That’s fantastic. And it wasn’t on my list of questions, but since you brought it up, it’s a fascinating topic. For those listening who may not be aware of the Michelin Guide, it’s been around for year. It started in France and in recent years has come over to the United States. There’s about a handful of cities in the United States – San Francisco, Chicago, New York – that have access to the guide. Three stars, two stars, or one star. They say one star is definitely worth the visit. Two stars, you’re going to turn off the road to make sure you go there. And three stars, you’re going to base your entire vacation around that visit and probably mortgage your home for that visit.

So what’s involved with Michelin training for you specifically as one of the chefs in the kitchen?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: So I currently haven’t undergone the training, but from what I’ve learned so far is when you’re going for their first star, they’re not there to eat up the service – well of course service counts, what’s going on in the front of the house – they’re there to eat up the food. The food most importantly it comes first. First things first. All the food is first priority.

This is the first restaurant where we have to get a little plate and some tasting spoons and grab every single one of our sauces, and do a little tasting for the chef before service so she can taste whether things are salted properly, whether they’re fresh enough. There’s a lot more food waste, I noticed, in this kitchen because the chef likes nothing to go past three days, whether it be a soup, even if we haven’t reheated it a second time. He just likes everything to be so fresh. We have a whole garden right out front that they find all sorts of stuff daily, and make all sorts of crazy emulsions and everything. It’s pretty complex kitchen.

They’ve got a really strong brigade, too. We have a private butcher for the restaurant and private prep cooks, and even a private cleaning crew that comes in and cleans the kitchen for us after service. We basically just have to show up, set up station, get through service – which is definitely, I feel like, the hardest part, and some days it feels like we’re rushing to get through a good amount of prep before services. Basically we show up, do service, and then break down our station and leave.

An Open Mind in a New Kitchen

Kirk Bachmann: Clearly, you’re there because of your skills and your experience in your young career. Do you find that you’re learning every day when you’re learning as well?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Yes. Absolutely. Every time I get into a new kitchen, I always reset what I’ve learned in the past and be open-minded to learning what this new person has to offer. Because I’m learning things here that I didn’t learn in Mexico or in the past. Mostly about food plating, actually. I’ve taken a lot of new lessons about food plating. Because I’m currently working on – my starting station was garde-manger, garde manager. I’ll be working my way up through meat, fish, pasta, and all of the stations that they have to offer at this restaurant.

Yes. Since there’s not much cooking involved on garde manager, it’s more just composing the dishes, since everything is already done. There’s a crudo that comes off my station. It’s mostly cold appetizers. Not a lot of cooking, but I’ve definitely learned a lot of plating since I’ve been here.

Kirk Bachmann: I love the language around the brigade. The infamous Escoffier brigade. It sounds like it’s a pretty big brigade. How many are working in the kitchen at any time?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: During a Saturday night, we have eight cooks, two sous chefs, and three dishwashers.

Learning the Basics and the Lingo

Kirk Bachmann: Wow! I’m so excited that you have this kind of experience. You can just tell in your voice that it’s a passion play for you, and you’re learning every day.

Let’s go back a few years. What drew you to wanting to work in restaurants in the first place? Did you have any chefs in your family or friends? Was it just something that you found a passion in when you were young?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: I more so found myself, found a passion for it. I started off cooking. I didn’t like it at first. I didn’t mind it, I guess. I didn’t think anything of it, when I first started because I started in a low-end barbecue restaurant…

Kirk Bachmann: It was just a job. Just a job.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Just a job. The food wasn’t great. That barbecue restaurant eventually actually closed down. They went out of business. But I learned to cook there and I learned some basic stuff, like how to get around in a kitchen, and the lingo.

Kirk Bachmann: Which is important. Which is super important.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: I’d say that’s the basics that you don’t even think about. I think those are the most important when walking into every kitchen. Saying “Corner!” when you’re walking around a corner.

Kirk Bachmann: Yeah. Sure.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: That’s what’s going to get you yelled at right off the bat.

Kirk Bachmann: You’ve got to have a presence, right. Did that help you when you ultimately came to Escoffier? Did you feel a sense of comfort when you were in our kitchens? Our kitchens are tight. They’re designed as such.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Had I started in Escoffier’s kitchen without any prior experience, I feel like it would have been…

Setting Goals and Staying Motivated

Kirk Bachmann: A little rougher. I love that. It validates. I hear it all day long. “Corner! Corner! Heard, Chef! Heard Chef! Corner! Corner!” But it’s real, right? You’re protecting yourself and you’re protecting the people around you if there are knives or hot water.

I love that you’re at an early stage in your career. You seem to be incredibly observant. You’re paying attention to food waste. You’re paying attention to the different stations of the brigade. You’ve got this great sense of what’s going on around you. Fast forward. First it was a job. Then you finished your education. You overcame some personal challenges that we’ll talk about in a bit. Went to one of the arguably coolest restaurants in North America, and now you’re in California. What is it now, today, Parker, that you love about being a chef?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: I’d say the little details. When I’m creating new dishes and learning about new stuff, it just gives me a boost. It gives me a big sense of accomplishment when I do these little things that take me out of my daily life. I show up to work every day with a smile on my face and ready to go. It’s something that I can stay motivated to keep doing. I feel like there’s so much to learn with food that it’s a lifetime. You can never learn enough in a single lifetime. There’s no end goal to it.

Well, of course, there are some goals. One day I want to have my own restaurant and want to work up through the many positions that there are. I want to become a sous chef. That’s my next goal. Eventually an executive chef. I just enjoy it because I can convey my thoughts through food, through cooking.

A Road Through Addiction

Kirk Bachmann: I sense that you have some personal satisfaction and this sense of accomplishment. That’s a great place to be in your life.

Parker, we can talk about this as much or little as you want. There’s really a beautiful message here as I read your story and read up on where you’ve been and where you are today. There’s an important message as well, for others who are perhaps struggling with addiction, mental health, family matters, and so much more. At one point in your life you also found yourself, in your terms, a dark place. Do you mind talking a little bit about what led you to that addiction?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Yes. Absolutely. I felt like I was different from a very early age. I believe alcoholism to be a disease or a disorder that a lot of us suffer from. When I was young, I thought I was different. I didn’t really fit in. I didn’t know my place. I struggled with that a lot in my childhood.

When I took that first sip of alcohol when I was maybe 14, 15 years old, it just gave me – I have ADHD as well, so I struggled with being too hyper when I was a kid, never being able to sit down, sit still. When I took that first sip of alcohol when I was young, it gave me that feeling of release from the world that I thought I always wanted. I fit in. I had friends. Of course, they weren’t friends, but the people I partied with, whether it be in high school or Steamboat Springs. I got hooked on the feeling and wanted to chase it. It made life. It added some color to life. My life was pretty black and white through my childhood and my high school years, too. I didn’t really fit in with the other kids. Had a hard time making friends. I was a really awkward person, I guess, so I had a hard time socializing. But alcohol helped with that.

Eventually, when that feeling started to wear off – okay, the alcohol isn’t working anymore – I started doing drugs. That was very dark, getting hooked on pretty heavy, hard drugs. By no means was I a saint. I used to be a not-great person. But I’m changing; every day I’m trying to think how I could just be a better person and carry out my duty to the world and help others who have gone through it. It’s so bad, going through that kind of thing that I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemies.

Now that I’ve gotten some time sober and I’ve cleared my mind, I’m starting to get some serenity. It’s not like life can just go back to normal after six years of being a drug addict. Once you quit, a lot of anxiety from it comes back. That’s a daily feeling that you’ve got to deal with when you’re…

Sobriety & Awakening to a Clean Slate

Kirk Bachmann: I really appreciate that, Parker. Your vulnerability and transparency is certainly going to resonate with our audience and those that listen. So thank you for sharing that. I couldn’t be more proud of you and happy for you in the path that you’re on and how you’re going to impact others around you.

When you checked yourself into rehab, and you knew that you needed to make a difference in your life, I’m just curious if cooking was still on your mind? Because it had become more than a job for you by then, right? Was it something that helped pull you out of the darkness a little bit as well?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Yeah. I don’t know where this, I’d say, white light awakening came from, but when I was in the first few days of treatment…. So I checked myself into what I thought was a rehab. It was more of a detox. From there they sent me to Sober Living. I got to meet people that are much alike to myself and never fit in anywhere. Better than a sober house, people going through the same thing as me, and I just had this white light awakening. “All right. I’ve got a clean slate. I’m still alive.” For the first time I became thankful for what I did have at the time, even though that was nothing. I burned every bridge and relationship I had, and I had this awakening and was like, “All right. I need to get up right now, and I need to start making up for lost time.”

This is another thing I deal with as an addict is impulsiveness. Impulsive decision making. And right in that moment, I called Escoffier, signed up, I was in classes three days later going at it like a madman. Cooking every single day. Going to the gym five days a week. Working a strong recovery program. I did that for the next fifteen months, just worked as hard as I could.

There’s more detail to the story, but I started getting some relief a little bit. I still had to deal with some of the old feelings of anxiety. Throughout my time in culinary school, I had a counselor that I got to hang out with and speak to once a week just to talk about what was on my mind, and talk about some stuff from the past. I didn’t really have time to go to AA meetings. I didn’t have many outlets at the time, going through culinary school, or I didn’t use them. I just talked to my counselor.

I just made my way through culinary school. I did have to deal with a pretty toxic boss throughout my time in culinary school. I’m not going to discuss the name of the restaurant or throw any dirt on anybody’s name, because I don’t believe in that. That was tough. This dude was an awful human being. He would make examples of the staff in front of the whole restaurant staff. He was a friend of mine, at first, until I realized who he was. I opened up to him a little bit about my personal life, my boss, just so he could have a better understanding of me, and he actually kind of used that against me. That was really dark and rough to deal with.

Kirk Bachmann: So yet another obstacle that you had to overcome while you were trying to overcome some other personal obstacles.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: This dude, it was a daily thing, us getting pulled aside and he would pull us aside and whisper in our ear just rude, rude, mean things that were very personal.

A Mentor’s Motivation

Kirk Bachmann: What’s amazing about this country today, Parker, is that type of behavior is no longer tolerated, especially not in our industry. The pandemic illuminated some of that as well. It’s important that restaurant workers are treated well and have the ability to work in a peaceful, thoughtful environment every single day. Super happy that you were able to overcome that.

Talking about mentors and those that inspired you as you made your way through culinary school, I think there were some mentors. At least one chef in Steamboat Springs that was a really important person to you, right? A chef.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Yes. I still talk to him today. James Beard Nominee chef, his name is Joseph Campbell. When I first walked into his kitchen, I was terrified. All the cooks were huge and tatted up. It just looked like his kitchen was people moving at a million miles an hour and putting out the nicest looking food. He was just such a creative chef. He owns three restaurants in Steamboat Springs, and he’s a great mentor to me. When I was struggling the most with all the addiction part, most of my other friends just left my life. They were tired of me. I lost a lot of friends, but he was the person who pulled me aside while I was working for him. And he said, “Hey, you need to clean up your life.” Gave me a motivational conversation. He told me that he thinks I needed to go get help. That’s what I did.

I still talk to him every now and again. He’s huge inspiration of mine. I look back through his menus, sometimes, refer to them when I’m trying to get ideas, because I know a little bit of his palate from working for him for nine months. I’m very, very thankful that I got the chance to get to know him and work for him.

Kirk Bachmann: I love that story. I love stories of mentors that stay with you throughout your life and your career. I think I mentioned earlier that two chefs from here at Escoffier who knew that we were going to chat today wanted to make sure that I said hello, Chefs Jesper and Julia. Do you have some fond memories of either mentorship or experiences that you had here while you were going to school?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Yes, I do. Chef Jesper was my first instructor and the instructor I had the most. I had him and Chef Julia the most, and they were fantastic, awesome mentors. I actually still talk to Chef Jesper sometimes. I keep him updated on what’s going on, and I told him how I got the job here in Santa Barbara. Those two are great.

The Pujol Experience

Kirk Bachmann: He sent me an email a few weeks ago. “I’ve got to tell you all about Parker. He went to Mexico City.” I said, “Jesper, I just read the entire article that’s on the website. You almost didn’t beat me to it.”

So you graduated from Escoffier, top of your class with really high GPA 4.0. Again, that’s not easy to do, particularly working a lot, so congratulations again. We cannot understate how important that is. Plus, we were in the middle of COVID. Then – I hope I get his name right – Enrique Olvera.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Yes, sir.

Kirk Bachmann: And Pujol. Wow! For those that don’t know who this chef is, he’s known for beautiful interpretations of regional Mexican dishes and ingredients. I was reading about smoked baby corn served on a stick with coffee and ant powder. What is ant powder, by the way?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: I’ve had that mayonnaise sauce, and it’s so beyond, what they put into that sauce. I never knew a mayonnaise could be so complex. They make the oil for it. They use chili oil and the ant – the ant powder, they toast the ants and put it in a Thermomix and grind them up into this powder that’s really crunchy and has a super unique flavor to it. They make the mayonnaise. They make the oil for the mayonnaise. It’s like a chili oil. They fold some adobo paste into it that they make in-house. Then they finish it with the anth powder. They take the corn, they grill it over an open-wood flame, they dip the corn in the mayonnaise, and then they put it in this little hollowed-out pumpkin that’s dried out and made into a plate. They put toasted corn husks in there and light them on fire, put the corn in, and then smoke it – smoke the whole hollowed out pumpkin out. It’s basically smoked ant mayonnaise corn, and it’s one of the craziest, most unique bites of foot I’ve ever had in my entire life. I got to try that dish and it is so beyond…

Kirk Bachmann: It’s an experience.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Enrique Olvera’s food, I got to try a couple different dishes while I was there. His food knocks you back in your seat. Flavors are out of this world, and the type of stuff, all the ingredients he uses are native to Mexico. Some stuff we don’t see here in the U.S., or at least I had never seen before until I got there. His flavors just knock you back into your seat. It’s unreal, his food.

Kirk Bachmann: Did you improve your mole technique?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Yes, I did.

Kirk Bachmann: What’s your favorite?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: You want know how that mole is made? I can’t give out the formula, but I can tell you how it’s made. They start with a paste, and it’s cooked in one of those gigantic stock pots that’s the size of a laundry machine. They start by toasting all the nuts and burning all the chilies, and getting all the other ingredients together. They fill that stock pot, and it’s stirred with a wooden paddle, and it covers the entire range of four burners on a stove top, it’s that big.

One of the cooks, they’ve got to do it once a week. It’s a four-day process to make it. You have to sit over the stovetop stirring it for ten hours straight with a wooden paddle all day.

Kirk Bachmann: So much tender loving care.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Ten hours of work to make that sauce. I was actually one of the guys. Julio, that I was close friends with, he was the mole guy. His hands were just so beat up and bruised from making that sauce. It’s a tough process just standing there over the heat. That stove top range that they use in the back kitchen – there are two kitchens at Pujol – it’s just constantly going sauce prep there. It’s pretty heavy. The workdays there can be up to 16 – 18 hours a day. Those burners are constantly going, and it’s hot back there. It’s very hot.

Kirk Bachmann: That’s love for the craft, right?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Yeah.

Travel, Food, & Continued Learning

Kirk Bachmann: And I know it’s easier this day in age, the age of the internet and such. You can find incredible restaurants and websites, but I’m just so curious and interested in how you found Pujol and how you went about securing that externship. What were some of the relationships like? I imagine there were people from all around the world in that kitchen together.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Absolutely.

Kirk Bachmann: Amazing experience.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: It was an incredible experience. I’ve thought about writing a book on the whole thing. Traveling, you learn so much, and you see so much stuff that you never thought you’d see before. The work there was very tough, but I made some great friends down there.

My first week was super hard. It put it into perspective. “Oh, my God! I pretty much just signed up for military boot camp for the next 3 months.” Everyone works as a team there. I made some friends that I’ll have for a lifetime. I still talk to all my friends from Mexico. I follow them all on Instagram. I still talk to my mentor, most importantly, from Mexico. Her name is Marta. The station that I…

Kirk Bachmann: The pastry chef, right?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: She’s the lead pastry prep cook at Pujol. She is the fastest, hardest working person I have ever met in my life. I tried as hard and hard as I could every single day just to keep up with her 50 percent, and I couldn’t even keep up with her. The first day, she was showing me around the kitchen and walking so fast down this hallway. I was running around all day. She showed me some really cool stuff.

One of the signature desserts there that they make in Mexico, they’re kind of like panna cotta, cooked in the same way panna cotta is. They’re called nicuatoles. It’s usually a fruit puree blended with corn and sugar and whatever the fruit of choice that they’re using is, and set with cornstarch. They put it in a piping bag and pipe it into banana leaves, fold the banana leaf to make and set the shape inside there. It’s like this little rectangular thing. It’s such a unique process that’s only known to them. It was created by them. That’s the first thing I learned there.

Give It Everything You’ve Got

Kirk Bachmann: That’s worth the price of admission right there, the experiences that so many other people won’t have. A lot of alumni, a lot of current students will listen to this podcast and through this lens they will see themselves in you.

What words of advice? Facing addiction, following your dream to go to culinary school, finding your path to Mexico on your own, now landing at a beautiful restaurant in California. Parker, what’s your advice to others who need to find their way?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: My advice to everyone is you are going to get out of it what you put into it. Give it everything you’ve got, and that will be enough. Set your idea. I think what’s really important is setting small goals that lead up to the bigger picture. Taking baby steps and knocking out one thing at a time. Take it one day at a time. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Just really dig your head into it. Embrace the culture, even when it’s tough and your exhausted. That’s one thing you will face as a chef is burnouts. I face burnouts. I know a lot of chefs, even professional chefs, that face burnouts. Getting proper work and life balance is very key. It’s important to take good care of yourself especially. Eat a healthy diet and have good habits in your daily life. If you’re unhappy with something, whether it be a current situation or job, remember everything is only temporary. You’re always going to be in a different place every couple of months.

Parker’s Second Act & Purpose

Kirk Bachmann: That’s great advice. I love the “only temporary” advice. Thank you for that.

One of your dreams is this idea – and I love this – to marry a restaurant with recovery. There’s other organizations like this around the country: DV8 Kitchen in Kentucky as an example. Dave’s Killer Bread. These are second chance restaurants, if you. Tell me a little bit about that. How did that dream come about? And what’s the future look like? How do you get there?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: That’s a great question, Kirk. I’ve definitely taken some thought into that. I’ve thought about bringing the two together. I want to start little and start by opening a sober house first thing. Then seeing how I can make a restaurant brigade that supports that, potentially a restaurant that donates a percentage of their profits to getting people scholarships to get into treatment centers, or scholarships for recovering addicts. When I was in recovery, getting fresh off, coming off of all the alcohol and substances, finances weren’t too hot. That’s one thing that’s really hard in the early beginning of your recovery, is the financial stuff. Getting everything back squared away to normal. Especially, a lot of addicts end up homeless, which is a sad truth. When you’re poorly managing your life and spending money on alcohol and substances as opposed to rent and bills. That’s the sad reality of it. It happens. Start a business that I could donate profits to helping people get out of those type of situations. Some type of rescue organization. That just comes around full circle. That’s the way I fix my past, do my good for the world. Yeah. It just comes around full circle that that is my purpose in life.

Parker’s Ultimate Dish

Kirk Bachmann: I love that. Really thoughtful response. I love the idea of giving back. You’re so mature at such a young age. Your forward thinking and your courage is incredibly impressive. Like I said, we’re all very, very proud of you.

We’re getting to the end of our time, but before I let you go, Parker, the name of the podcast is The Ultimate Dish, so I’m not going to let you off the hook. In your mind, and in your experience, what is the ultimate dish?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: That is a wonderful question. Man. I think that pasta is the ultimate dish. Are you looking for a specific type?

Kirk Bachmann: You’ve got to give me a little bit more than that. I’m a big fan of pasta as well. Are we talking dried pasta, or were you making it from scratch?

Parker Wilks-Bryant: I think pasta agnolotti.

Kirk Bachmann: Oh, nice. Nice choice.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: It is the ultimate dish because it is so versatile. You can stuff it with different ingredients. You can serve it with a broth, with a sauce. You can serve it just sautéed with some garlic and shallot and lemon, or…

Kirk Bachmann: Loving that. Loving that.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: You could put potato puree in an agnolotti, brown butter. Really, everything.

Kirk Bachmann: Big fan.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: All different types of shapes and stuff, too. There’s just a lot you can do with it.

Kirk Bachmann: You know what is so interesting about that response. I think most of the guests and the chefs that we have on, they provide…You work in the ninth best restaurant in the world, but most chefs just share a very, very simple dish. Often times it’s something that reminds them of their grandmother, or that they cooked alongside their mom, or a relative, or a friend. I absolutely love that response. That’s excellent.

Hey, thank you so much for your time, Parker. We are so proud of you. Don’t work too hard. Try to enjoy the sunshine. I’m going to check up on you and make sure that you’re taking that board out. My brother-in-law is from Santa Barbara and he’s a big surfer, so I know that’s part of the culture there.

Parker Wilks-Bryant: Thank you so much for having me, Kirk. I really appreciate the opportunity. I wish everyone that is watching this a wonderful experience in their culinary career.

Kirk Bachmann: Thanks so much, Parker. I appreciate it.

And thank you for listening to The Ultimate Dish podcast, brought to you by Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Visit escoffier.edu/podcast, where you’ll find any materials mentioned during the podcast, including notes, links and other resources. You can also browse other episodes and subscribe.

Recent Podcasts