GE: So speaking of finding that inspiration, I know that the Green Goddess Dressing and Salad really blew up thanks to TikTok and social media. But what was it about that recipe that made you want to transform it?
AS: “So the idea of just sort of my food, especially when it comes to Mexican recipes and focus has to have a sort of genesis of traditional authenticity. And Green Goddess is something that has been sort of played with a lot in American regional cuisine, but it’s also very popular in the Mexican diaspora. So I wanted to take Herdez Avocado Hot Sauce and be able to use those things, that kind of flavor of the Green Goddess herbal, but acidic. I think it makes a beautiful narrative for something very unique and something very big. When you have a romaine, it can’t have a very soft vinaigrette. You need something that has a lot of punch, it needs something that can stand up to the texture of the greens. So I’m very excited about that.”
GE: With a traditional salad, what are some of your favorite ways to take it to the next level, if maybe you’re not a fan of the Green Goddess dressing?
AS: “Well, I just think you can play around with different acids, we have vinegar and you have lime or lemon but they are two different expressions of acid. So I would say if I were you I would take a little salsa and use a little bit of vinegar with some lime juice and just play with the different flavors. But if you want to do something fun, just go ahead and take like crispy pork belly and just crisp it up in a pan and put that on top of Romaine salad with a little bit of blue cheese or something. Maybe pickled red onions and just totally build up this gorgeous, beautiful salad.”
GE: I have to ask because I did bring up MasterChef already, what is your favorite thing about being a judge on either MasterChef or MasterChef Junior?
AS: “They’re very different. I think the biggest part of it is that regardless of if you are a Junior or the original series, you walk away with a lot of valuable life lessons and kitchen lessons. We are with them for an extended amount of time, for like two months they go through the process. But at the end of the day, even if you get eliminated from that part of the competition you still walk away with the confidence, with unbelievable kitchen skills, and a lot of knowledge and affirmation about ‘is this what you want’.”
GE: Would you ever want to be a contestant on one of these shows?
AS: “Absolutely not. I have put my time in. I have competed a lot. I mean, if I would ever do it, I would only do it for fun against Gordon [Ramsay] that would be the only reason I come out of retirement.”
GE: And final question, what is your favorite guilty eat?
AS: “Favorite guilty eat… so I’m like a late night eater because I work late and come home and I have forgotten to eat. Right? So I’m always like, Mr. Underwear, coming downstairs and rifling through the fridge. But I always have cheese and tortillas in my house, so what I end up doing a lot of times is making a nice quesadilla. And will have like cheese and chopped up pickled vegetables, and I pickle them myself, and I make an unbelievable quesadilla and then with the homemade hot sauce with chilis that I grow.”