We were thrilled to have the chance speak with Chef William Bradley, Executive Chef at Addison Restaurant. See his featured recipe, Artichokes En Barigoule, here.

Q: What inspired you to start cooking?

WB: I was always inspired by the ability to take raw product and transform it into something that makes people come together and be happy.

Q: When did you start?

WB: At the tender age of 16.

Q: Who is your greatest culinary inspiration? Why?

WB: Alain Ducasse because he stands for everything luxurious and has made such an impact on our profession.

Q: What do you think makes a great chef? 

WB: A great chef is not only a great cook but is also a great listener, speaker and someone that has the ability to nurture young professionals.

Q: How did you develop your personal cooking style?

WB: My style evolved from daring to be different and truly focusing on mastering the understanding of taste and not being tempted by yearly trends.

Q: How has your personal cooking style changed over the years?

WB: I focus more on simplicity and allowing the clarity of each ingredient to speak for itself.

Q: Why is the Bocuse d’Or competition important in the grander culinary world?

WB: It allows us as American chefs to become more recognized for our abilities, skills and dedication to the culinary arts.

Q: What do you think making the podium for the first time in 2015 mean for the US? 

WB: Everything.

Q: What advice do you have for young chefs who are just getting started?

WB: Be patient, work under chefs whom you admire their style, and understand that YouTube doesn’t provide you with culinary talent.

Q: You’ve spoken about your mother as being your first mentor. What are the skills/lessons that she taught you that are still with you today?

WB: Sensitivity and strength.

Q: Why do you think mentorship plays such an important role in the culinary profession?

WB:   It allows cooks to feel like they are part of something in order to gain confidence, as their confidence grows so will their abilities.

Q: What do you try to teach your teams that you want them to keep and pass on to their future mentees?

WB: You need to respect a carrot as much as you respect caviar.

Q: What are you working on next?  

WB: Our restaurant cookbook.

Q: Outside of the restaurant, what do you enjoy in your free time?

WB: Cycling and listening to music.