Stove Talk: Chef Robbie Wilson on Inspiration & Unsexy Yams
Our chat with the renowned chef on his spring menus, inspirations, and what ingredient he'll never work with again!

Chef Robbie Wilson knows how to fuse. 

His renowned cuisine is recognized as being both globally-influenced and elegantly understated. A born and bred Texan, the toque likely attributes his willingness to combine diverse ingredients (think Philly Steak Eggroll with Cheez Whiz and Fritto Pie with Waygu Beef) to his impressive and well-traveled resume. Having manned the line at some of the world's most highly praised restaurants (including Maison Trois-Gras, Craft, the French Laundry and Matsuhisa), Wilson has recently moved to Nashville to work as Culinary Director of the acclaimed M Street Entertainment Group (Virago, Whiskey Kitchen, Tavern, Kayne Prime). 

Wilson took some time out from crafting his Spring menus to talk to Joonbug about his dream meal, what inspires him and the one ingredient he'll never work with again.

Joonbug: Let's say you have private access to prepare the meal of your choice in any location in the world. Where are you?

Robbie Wilson: : Deep in the heart of the Kii Peninsula, Japan;  the mountain range. This region is the birthplace of Shingou sect of Buddhism, Matsuzaka beef, dramatic coastline, {which equal] great fish.

Joonbug: Who are you cooking for?

RW: Anthony Bourdain ([I'm] hoping for the full Bourdain treatment), Steve Jobs, Julia Child, Daniel Day Lewis and Paul McCartney.

Joonbug: Ok, so a slightly unlikely pairing but we'll give it to you. More importantly, what’s on the menu?

RW: Grilled local sardines, sazae (snails) with misonikomi udon flavored with the area’s famous (red)  miso, grilled Matsuzaka beef and ko-chin, a fatty, tender chicken.

Joonbug: Can you add us to the guest list? You’re known for your interesting food pairings. What do you look to for inspiration?

RW:  [ I look to] the season, street food and wherever we just traveled to.

Joonbug: You told us what you like. What about the ingredient you hope new finds its way to your kitchen?

RW: I will never work with Nagaimo. Its a Japanese mountain yam [and has a] sexual lubrication characteristic.

Joonbug: Um, anyway… what’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the last month?

RW: Crisp & Juicy, the Peruvian chicken joint outside D.C. Everything chicken aspires to be: crispy, juicy, smoky, salty, spicy.

Sounds like everything we aspire to be too. Follow Robbie Wilson on twitter @_robbiewilson.