How did you begin your career as a chef?
I worked at a country club near my hometown in Florida, a job my grandmother proudly secured for me. I got my start scooping sorbet into martini glasses for banquets and Bar Mitzvahs. I worked my way up the line at the country club, followed by a few restaurants in the area, before moving to New York in 2012 to attend the Culinary Institute.
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
The creative landscape in New York is exciting in that it's constantly evolving and there's always something new, different, and interesting in the spotlight. Within the cooking community, specifically, while it seems large, it's actually quite small and close knit. There is an immense amount of respect and support for each other's projects, openings, struggles, and victories.
What's inspiring you right now?
Seasonality is something that always inspires my cooking. Especially in the fall and winter months with Eastern European food, it's finally acceptable for me to focus on heavier dishes and flavors and serve warming soups and stews. I've also recently been into experimenting with outdoor cooking, and really hoping I can find more ways to incorporate it into the menu at Agi's. Lastly, I'm incredibly inspired by our customers, so many of them regulars, and their excitement about what we're doing at Agi's. It's been so awesome to hear that people in our community are talking about and excited about things like tuna melts, borscht, and deviled eggs.