Lisa VanderPump isn’t the only person at Villa Blanca making a splash on TV. The restaurant’s executive chef Francis Dimitrius recently appeared on Food Network’s Extreme Chef, the show which tasks chefs to brave the elements and concoct a meal in just thirty minutes. Francis, who Lisa VanderPump told me on Sunday was almost a cheftestant on Top Chef, has luckily survived his stint in the wild and recently answered some email questions from me about theExtreme Chef, Villa Blanca, and the Housewives.
Check out the interview after the jump…
Hey Chef Francis, I’ve been to Villa Blanca and really enjoyed it. What did you miss most from your kitchen while on Extreme Chefs?
“The heat of my kitchen! It was so cold on the beach that i was shivering the entire time. I missed the flames!”
Did Lisa VanderPump prepare you for your foray into reality TV? Are she and Ken supportive?
“Ken and Lisa are definitely supportive. However, it was my mere talent and mental apptitude that prepared me for my debut on reality tele.”
What culinary prep did you do to get yourself ready for the elements? And did it work?
“I did not go through any culinary prep to brave the elements rather mental and emotional preparations were more in order! $10,000 says it did! hahahahaha.”
Do you have a rivalry with Sur?
“As our sister restaurant there is really no rivalry with Sur. We want each other to succeed and we really promote the other for the overall benefit of the conglomerate.”
Will anything you’ve made on Extreme Chefs be incorporated into the Villa Blanca menu?
“Hahahahaha never say never but most likely not. Turtle is illegal in california so im kinda forced not to. Scallop kiwi sashimi is something i would definitely consider incorporating into our menu at VB. It is a beautiful marriage of flavors, balance, and aesthetic. Dragonfruit stuffed squid tempura would also be a great special but I think in the end, it is too different for our clientele.”
Is there a hidden gem on the Villa Blanca menu however that gets overlooked by a popular item like the tartare?
“Just one?!?!?!?!?! Our baked crab hand rolls stuffed with arborio rice is divine. Better than most sushi restaurants. Our Seafood Paella is the best outside of Spain…”
What do you whip up when you sit down to watch Extreme Chefs?
“For my viewing party I made 4 hour BBQ pulled pork sandwiches stuffed with coleslaw, ichimi spiced bbq tri tip, and teriyaki grilled chicken wings.”
What’s harder: cooking for all the Housewives or cooking in the elements?
“Cooking for the Housewives is more difficult. Even though cooking in extreme conditions were demanding, I did not have to cater to special requests! The amount of housewives modifications overwhelms me. At least the elements allowed me to cook simply, the way I want.”