What does Tre Wilcox love most about being a chef?

Working with my little brothers and cooking next to them is like playing a sport together. It’s really fun. People always say to me when I come out in the dining room, “Y’all are really busting your butt back there,” and I say, “Man, we’re just having fun.” It’s a good game, and people are like, “What’s the game?” I’m like, “Y’all are the competition. We get as many people as we can get in here, and we’re trying to win your approval and say, ‘This is one of the best dishes we’ve had.’” It’s winning you — that’s what we’re trying to win. It’s done on a person-by-person basis. I do it because I love it. I love cooking, seeing what I can do with food and manipulating it to turn it into something that’s delicious and spectacular presentation-wise.

For the last 10 years, I’ve worked in open-faced kitchens where I can look out into the dining room. So when I make something, like a particular dish from beginning to end, I can watch it go out to the table and keep doing what I’m doing in the kitchen. I keep looking up every once in a while and see that person with pure joy on their face. To cap it all off, I watch the busboy pick up the plate and run it to the kitchen, and all I see is a clean plate with some swirl marks in it.

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