The Daily Meal caught up with chef Tory McPhail to learn about how his travels have influenced his work. McPhail is the executive chef at Commander's Palace in New Orleans, as well as a partner at SoBou. He is also the recent recipient of the 2013 James Beard Award for Best Chef: South.
The Daily Meal: What has been your most inspirational food experience while traveling?
Tory McPhail: While we were in New York City for the James Beard Awards, we did 24 restaurants in four days. When I came back to New Orleans, I was recharged and re-energized to keep evolving the menus at Commander’s Palace and SoBou.
TDM: What’s your favorite kitchen souvenir from your travels?
TM: Every time I go to New York City, I spend too much money at JB Prince. But my real favorite is the machete I picked up in Africa. I carry it at my side when I go pick wild chanterelle mushrooms in Honey Island Swamp.
TDM: If you could eat your way through one country, which one would it be and why?
TM: Well, it’s part of the U.S., but I’m really looking forward to eating my way through Puerto Rico in July. I love that spicy sweet ginger flavor in the fresh BBQ and fresh pork dishes. I know I’ll be inspired by the Creole and Caribbean flavors.