"I was in Michigan, training in French biodynamic farming. All the people there had a mission to create the purest, best-tasting produce. I loved the intensity and the community and sense of mission, but nobody knew how to cook what we grew. I focused on trying to do things with all that food, imagining how great it would be to make a Chinese bao or a Vietnamese spring roll. Yet it also seemed like a total mystery. Finally, my teacher at the farm, Alan York, told me that I had way too much energy and enthusiasm to be farming and that I should be cooking. It was just the thing I needed to hear. I came straight home to Los Angeles, to Giuseppe's, then to study with Claude Segal just as Ma Maison was closing and then to Bistango with him. After that, I studied in France and Japan."