Study up on acclaimed chef Todd English.

Zagat calls superstar chef Todd English's food "lusty, gutsycooking." We happily agree. Here, you can nibble on some Toddtrivia and a bonus recipe.

VITALS: Born August 29, 1960, in Amarillo, Texas; raisedthere, Atlanta, Georgia, and Branford, Connecticut.

EDUCATION: Guilford College, North Carolina; The CulinaryInstitute of America, Hyde Park, New York; apprenticeships at DalPescatore in Canto Sull O'lio, Italy, and Paraccuchi in LocandoD'Angello, Italy.

HOW HE GOT INTO THE BUSINESS: "One night, when I was 14, Istopped by to see my friend Ivan. He was working at a littleMexican place in Branford, Connecticut, and he asked if I had plansfor the evening--thinking he had something great in mind, I saidthat I had none. Instead, he said that his dishwasher was sick andasked if I could help out. There was no dishwasher; you washed thepots and plates and silverware by hand. I just jumped right in andfor some strange reason, I really loved it. I don't know why--well,okay, you got as much free beer as you wanted." (From Todd's firstbook, The Olives Table; see "His Books," below.)

BOY MEETS GIRL: In 1982, Todd met his wife-to-be, Olivia,during their studies at The Culinary Institute of America. "I tookher picture for her school ID. You know, love at first snap." (FromThe Olives Table)

CAREER HIGHS: Working with Jean-Jacques Rachou at La CoteBasque in New York, and his top professional honors--especially hisJames Beard awards: "National Rising Star Chef" (1991), the RobertMondavi Award for Culinary Excellence (1991), and "Best Chef:Northeast" (1994) .

NEAR-HIT CAREER: "It would have to be baseball, in that Iwonder what would have happened if I had given it more of a shot,"he told Nation's Restaurant News. "I played from the time I was 7years old. My father was a first baseman coach," he toldstarchefs.com. "I had opportunities that I never reallypursued--with some Miami teams and a few larger colleges--and thenI ended up bailing and began cooking."

GUILTY PLEASURE: Peanut butter and jelly.

HIS BOOKS:

The Olives Table: Over 160 Recipes from the Critically AcclaimedRestaurant and Home Kitchen of Todd English, co-authored withSally Sampson (Simon & Schuster, 1997).

The Figs Table: More than 100 Recipes for Pizza, Pastas, Salads,and Desserts, co-authored with Sally Sampson (Simon &Schuster, 1998).

The Olives Dessert Table: Spectacular Restaurant Desserts YouCan Make at Home, co-authored with Paige Retus and SallySampson (Simon & Schuster, 2000).

HIS RESTAURANTS: Todd's restaurants consistently receiverave reviews for their worldbeat fare. Next stop? Maybe London. Fornow, head to:

Olives--his most acclaimed Mediterranean-influencedrestaurant, with its original location near Boston in Charlestown,Massachusetts (617/242-1999; since 1989). Newer locations inWashington, D.C. (202/452-1866); Las Vegas (702/693-8181); Aspen(970/920-7356); and New York City (718/423-6095).

Figs--a family-friendly retreat known for its homey pizzaand pastas. Massachusetts locations in Charlestown (617/242-2229);Boston (617/742-3447); Wellesley (781/237-5788); and Chestnut Hill(617/738-9992). There's also a location at New York City'sLaGuardia Airport, Central Terminal Building (718/446-7600).

Miramar--fine dining at The Inn at National Hall, Westport,Connecticut; 203/222-2267 or www.innatnationalhall.com.

Greg Norman's Australian Grille--fine dining at BarefootLanding in North Myrtle Beach, SC; 843/361-0000.

Kingfish Hall--sumptuous seafood at Faneuil Hall, Boston;617/523-8862.

You May Like