Q & A With Bev Lazo, Hell's Kitchen Contestant And Local Ninja Chef
The last time I ran into my friend Bev, it was during a hatch chile event. The time before that, she was running a Filipino pop-up inside the Playground. She'd been secretive about her current project, promising to tell all once she was allowed to. Now that the new season of Hell's Kitchen is underway, Lazo is ready to spill (most of) the beans with me. Over the weekend, she was in Augusta, Georgia, catering for The Masters Tournament. But Bev made sure to answer our burning questions prior to her trip.
How does your Filipino background influence your cooking? Do you gravitate towards certain flavors or styles of cooking?
It's all about lots of flavor, keeping it simple, keeping it fresh-- with a lot of spicy, sweet and sour to it. Just like me!
How was working with Chef Ramsay? Did you learn anything that you'll take back to your kitchen?
I loved working with him. He taught me so much in so many ways. Teamwork, especially, and being consistent. My standards have changed so much when it comes to food, as well as running a restaurant from front to back.
Tell us about your weekly radio show.
My weekly web tv/radio show is called "The Coolinary Trends Show", with my co-hosts Gloria Vega and Lawrence Fama. The show is marketed to all the foodies. We talk about what's trending in the industry, share our knowledge on different types of cuisines, food, drinks, etc. And educate and encourage those who are afraid to try certain types of food and delicacies. All in all, it's like being at my dinner table, catching up on the day with good friends, eating good food, having a good time.
Why do you think you deserve to win?
I deserve to win due to the work ethic, my love for food, my passion and my drive.
Is there anything you WON'T put sriracha on?
You work with some knowledgeable local chefs over at Border Grill, who also happen to have both cooking show and reality TV experience. What insight from them did you bring into the competition?
I went into the competition as if I was going in to work, making sure I do the best I can to produce a great dish, and with the experience and knowledge that I have and what I've taken in from Chefs Miliken and Feniger. It's all about the passion and love for what we do.
Let's talk about your ninja style of competing (as stated in your Hell's Kitchen video profile).
Haha. I still laugh at that. Just like a ninja, I'm quiet, and can come at you without you knowing.
Was competing on Hell's Kitchen what you expected?
I knew going in that it wasn't going to be as easy as some might think. It's an amazing life experience that I would never take back. The most surprising thing about being on television is just seeing myself and asking, "Why did I wear that?"
Favorite ride at Disneyland.
Ultimate favorite is Indiana Jones. I wish it was a longer ride. It reminds me of the way I drive.
How is luxe lonchera work different from cooking out of a brick-and-mortar?
Working on a truck is way different. In a way, I like it better because you get to go to different locations daily. It's a smaller environment, and you have to learn to produce great food in a fast pace. You don't have to worry so much about having a large staff, buying so many supplies and worrying about other bills that go along with a brick-and-mortar.
Mother, chef, radio (and now television) personality. What's on the agenda for 2014? Any more pop-up restaurants?
So many amazing things are happening and being planned right now-- from another Coolinary Trends Show, a pop-up here and there, a clothing/kitchen gadget line and more. Just keep an eye out; you will see more of me and Coolinary Trends.
Did you get to make risotto this season?
Only way to find out is to tune in every Thursday night, 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central on Fox.