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  • Chef Andrew Simonson
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Chef Andrew Simonson

Chef at The Chopping Block since: 2019

Favorite class to teach: Evening in New Orleans

Training/education: High school diploma and nearly 14 years training on the job

Cooking since: 2005

Favorite childhood food experience: Mom first teaching me to cook.

What made you want to become a chef? Curiosity over how far I could follow my instincts.

What is your signature dish? Truffle Risotto with Morel Mushrooms

What are the 5 ingredients you can't live without? Salt, butter, nutmeg, fresh thyme, bacon

What do you love about cooking? Freedom of creativity

When you're creating a new recipe, what influences and inspires you? Experimentation in combining old techniques in a new way.

What advice would you give a new cook? Follow the heart first and the wallet second.

What are you doing when you're not cooking? Thinking about cooking.

Describe your perfect evening. Delicious scratch-made dinner and a good bottle of wine.

If you had friends in from out of town, where would you take them to eat? Tanooshi or Little Bad Wolf

Where are you from? Chicago

What was your favorite vacation? Escaping Chicago winters on a Florida beach.

What are your hobbies? Crafting spice blends and knife sharpening

What is your favorite band? Alice Cooper

What is your favorite sports team? Chicago Cubs

If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be? Albert Einstein

What are your guilty pleasures? Ice cream

Who is your favorite celebrity chef? Anthony Bourdain

What 5 tools should every new cook have in the kitchen? Chef knife, fish spatula, bench knife, cast iron pan, microplane

What resources would you suggest for Chopping Block clients? Draw inspirations from anywhere you can, take multiple recipes from multiple sources and make one all your own.

List three of your favorite tips or techniques you use in the kitchen. 

  • Be fearless when trying something new. 
  • Trust your instincts. 
  • Food tastes better when you have fun making it.
Andrew's Favorite Ingredient

TrufflesSaltMy favorite tool in the kitchen is The Chopping Block's truffle salt. I just love truffles, and I use it on literally everything.