What was your first job in a kitchen?
My first job in a kitchen was actually an unpaid internship that I acquired through my father at Sal Anthony's in Carlstadt, NJ. I agreed to work unpaid in order to gain some experience and knowledge of my chosen career before I started my first semester of culinary school.
What is the first dish you ever mastered?
The first dish I ever mastered was years ago whilst I worked as a line cook in a restaurant here in New Jersey. The lead line cook taught me how to make the classic dish Chicken Francaise. It was one of my favorite things and he taught me how to make it from scratch. Since, I have tweaked it to my own preference and it is absolutely my favorite thing to make. Simple, aromatic, and delicious.
What is your signature dish?
Bucatini Shrimp Arrabbiata
Any stories of triumph from the kitchen? Disaster?
For me every day in the kitchen that goes well is a triumph. For some chefs who are extremely passionate, a very small thing can seems like a complete disaster. If I had to pick one instance, for me, it would have to be the first time I had an input on the menu. Seeing something that comes from your heart be a part of a menu has to be the most rewarding experience you will have as a young cook.
Who was your first cooking inspiration?
I was very, very young when I found I was inspired by food. Instead of watching cartoons like a normal child, my mother would find me watching Jeff Smith on "The Frugal Gourmet" in the mornings. I remember feeling so intrigued by food at such a young age and I knew I was destined to have culinary arts in my life one way or another.
What's the one piece of advice you took away from Hell's Kitchen?
Being a part of the show was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I didn't realize that I would learn so much about myself competing for the position of my dreams. I feel that I learned something everyday and if I could say one thing to everyone it's to never second guess yourself, always go with your gut instinct.
FOX Broadcasting Company - Danielle Rimmer - Hell's Kitchen on FOX - Official Site