Bio: 42, dating; has three kids. Grew up in South Philadelphia, now lives in West Philadelphia.

What's new? Whole roast pig and pig sliders on the menu at his restaurant Le Cochon Noir (5070 Parkside Ave., 215-879-1011,, which serves upscale barbecue with sides of live jazz and blues.

Philly restaurant connections: Le Bec-Fin (internship), Philadelphia hotels the Ritz-Carlton, Hilton Airport, Hyatt Regency and Sofitel.

Starting out: At 15, as a prep cook at Culinary Concepts.

First chef gig: Herb Scott Catering in Germantown.

Favorite ingredient: Cilantro.

Essential chef skill: "Being a people person. I like to interact with my guests in the dining room."

Go-to utensil: Henckels knife.

Heroes: Mom, Chef G. Garvin and Steve Harvey.

In Mom's kitchen: "I used to help her on Sundays. She'd let me mix the cake batter or mashed potatoes."

He cooks it better than Mom: "Everything. [Laughs.] I would say mac and cheese."

Most memorable meal: The Seafood Tower at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse in Radnor.

Cheesesteak wid? Lots of cheese.

If he wasn't a chef? He'd probably be in the managing end of the food-and-bev biz.

It's good to be boss: "Working for myself is a great asset. I like it because I can spend time with my children."

Dream meal: "I would love to go to Italy and try authentic Italian cuisine."

Kitchen garden: He grows mint, oregano and cilantro.

Future plan: Create a personal-chef network to give people the restaurant experience at home.

Giving back: He'd like to teach culinary arts in Philly schools. "I'd teach children a business plan, give them direction and show what it would take to get there."