Why I Love This: Jeff Scheer, Alon Shaya, Francis Derby

More good feels, comin' atcha.

November 28, 2016 ‚óŹ 1 min read

Why I Love This is a recurring column that asks chefs, quite simply, why they love what they do. It is here to remind you, whether you’re in the industry or not, that the world turns and cooking still rules. 

Jeff Scheer, The Mill House

An Ohio native that made his way to Maui and wound up becoming one of the most important chefs on the islands. Now running the massively ambitious Mill House.

It's freedom, it's freedom in the kitchen. No micromanagement. In here we're playing with food, and that is the best thing from a cook's perspective. You can just play, and do whatever you want and be creative.

Alon Shaya, Shaya

One of the defining pioneers of modern Israeli cuisine. Legend. Just, legend.

I like to teach people things, and I like to see people learn and grow and fill their potential. I got into this business when I was very young because it was a way for me to hand somebody something and put a smile on their face — and my math skills weren't cutting it. It wasn't like I was impressing people with my English literature. I had to just do what only I could do and that, for me, was cooking. I've been able to bring happiness to people through something that I love to do, and that means a lot to me. That's my favorite thing about being a chef.

Francis Derby, The Cannibal   

A modern day bon vivant. Relishes classical technique, hospitality and showmanship. 

Why do I love cooking? I love cooking because it allows me to do what I love. It allows me to be with people I love. It allows me to express myself through this craft, this art that we've decided to all follow and do. Damn it, it's an easy life.

Interviews by Richie Nakano | Photos via The Mill House, Shaya, and The New York Post