Amanda Freitag, Gavin Kaysen, Dale Talde At The Food Republic Test Kitchen

Today we are live from the Food Republic Test Kitchen & Interview Lounge at Little Owl The Venue in New York's West Village. A lot of our friends from the culinary world are stopping by for interviews and fun in the kitchen. See full schedule.

Amanda Freitag is a chef and judge on cooking competition show Chopped. Gavin Kaysen is Executive Chef at Café Boulud and head coach of the American team competing in the Bocuse d'Or competition. Vic Casanova is chef-owner of Gusto in Los Angeles. Dale Talde is chef-owner of Talde and Pork Slope in Brooklyn, NY.

Amanda Freitag

What is the bloodiest kitchen injury you've ever witnessed?"

I have one. Doesn't everybody? Man, actually I have two.

Give me the one with the best end result. Let's keep it upbeat.

Everybody lives [laughs]. One wasn't bloody, but it was scary. It involves Saran wrap. A young pastry assistant was taking the saran wrap down from the top of the speed wrap, and the teeth slit her wrist. It was probably the most serious thing we had ever experienced because of where it was. Luckily there wasn't that much blood, but she got really freaked out and started to faint and go. We had to keep her up and keep telling her that it was okay.


Gavin Kaysen

Give me a greatly undiscovered food city.

I think Minneapolis is kind of an undiscovered food city. It's discovered in the sense that there are lot of great restaurants there, but from a national point of view, I don't think a lot of people tap into it. Andrew Zimmern and I did a James Beard dinner in the summer with three James Beard winning chefs from Minneapolis – they were all back-to-back winners from the Midwest region.

They all came from the city?

Every single one. It was Tim McKee from La Belle Vie, Alex Roberts and Isaac Becker. Those three chefs are great – that's kind of an undiscovered food city to me.

What about ethnic foods there that you have experienced?

Well for ethnic foods, you have to talk to Andrew. He's kind of stunned to create as much energy as he can for that city.


Vic Casanova

Did you watch cooking shows growing up?

I watched Emeril. It wasn't by choice, necessarily, but my dad used to really dig it and so we would watch it. I dug it and to be honest with you, a lot of the cooking shows back then were a lot more informative and more about technique. Something has changed along the line. I'm not saying I don't dig – I was on Iron Chef America myself – but they are different.

The shows aren't "stand and stir" so to speak. They aren't teaching you how to make anything.

Right and I respect that. I miss that.

Would you ever do a cooking show?

It would probably be like my cooking: "free-range Italian." Simple, soulful food that you can pull off at home without compromising quality.


Dale Talde

What is your favorite food city to travel to?

I'm going to rep the good ol' U.S.A and say San Francisco.


I could always say Chicago where I am from, but I was out in San Francisco last year. I've been there two years in a row but I hadn't been there for a while. The food is so dope man. It reminds me a little bit of Brooklyn, and people are taking a lot of risks out there.

In concept?

Yes, in concept. You would never expect where they are putting the restaurants in the city. It's an easy one, but Mission Chinese, you go in there and you're there, and you're like, "Wait, did I pass it? Where am I?" and then all of a sudden, it's crazy dope.

And what about some of the higher minded areas?

Right. And then you go to institutions like Slanted Door.

Also see: Angelo Sosa, Aliya LeeKong And Mike Price Live At The Food Republic Test Kitchen