Erling Wu-Bower: Midwestern Chill

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Chicago chef (and California native) Erling Wu-Bower brings a West Coast sensibility to his new restaurant, Pacific Standard Time.



Here’s how the James Beard Award nominee keeps it cool at home.

Essential Ingredient: Olive oil

It’s the most important thing in the kitchen—your olive oil permeated everything you cook. If you have average olive oil, you can taste it. You should have two at home: mild, buttery California Olive Ranch, for vinaigrettes and dipping bread into; and Olio Verde, a Sicilian oil that’s spicy and has a ton of character—to drizzle over beautiful salad greens or fish or steaks.

Courtesy of California Olive Ranch

Family Favorite: Pad Thai

My mom is originally from Shanghai and was a food writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. I would get home from school and start cooking dinner, then she would come home and finish it. We made pad thai a lot—real pad thai with al dente noodles, preserved radish, more pronounced sourness. Definitely not the take-out stuff.

Tony Robins / Getty Images

Secret Sauce: Fire

If you’re making fresh pasta with cherry tomatoes, grill the tomatoes first. If you’re making chicken cacciatore, grill the peppers and onions first. It’s a bit of a time commitment, but developing a fire-based larder is what takes a dish from good to “Wow, why is this so good?”

Suchart Doyemah / EyeEm / Getty Images

Workout Routine: Boxing

Working in kitchens, I like to stay lean, and boxing is a great full-body workout. I’m a very bad boxer, but I absolutely love it—getting hit in the face is like a really good cup of coffee.

Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

Go-to Drink: Sazerac

Rye is a real man’s drink. Bourbon is OK, but drink some rye and you’ll never want to drink bourbon again. A Sazerac dresses up rye just enough—it’s like the simple outfit that makes a woman look incredibly sexy.

Kevin O'Mara / Getty Images

The post Erling Wu-Bower: Midwestern Chill appeared first on Men's Journal.


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