Top Chef: Garrett Marlin, Mercury Pizza

Garrett Marlin, 36, graduated from Hawaii Pacific University. He grew up in New Jersey, Texas and Colorado. He has three brothers who live in New York, Austin, Texas and Denver.  In 2013,  he won the World’s Best Pizza Stretcher at the International Pizza Games in Las Vegas, Nev. He also placed third in the Western Regional Division for his pizza that year.  His mom says he’s the best pizza guy in the world.

 

What’s one ingredient that you can't live without?
Flour for baking

 

What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when cooking?
Varies depending on what time of the day. AM is Hawaiian reggae or acoustic stuff and PM is rock or rap

 

If you could cook for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Both sets of my grandparents together, that never happened and I wish it had.

 

What’s your favorite ethnic cuisine?
Vietnamese, Italian, Turkish

 

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a diner?
Nothing too strange

 

What’s the best part about being a chef?
Best part is always wanting to keep learning about new foods and techniques and then getting to try them.

 

What’s the most challenging part of being a chef?  
Keeping training and building a team who has got your back

 

If  not a chef in the Pine Belt, what city would you like to work in? 
NYC or somewhere in Europe

 

Who is/was your food mentor?
Julia Child, Jacque Pepin, Mario Batali, Mare Vetri

 

What’s your favorite “guilty pleasure” food?
Spam-friend rice or microwave hot dogs

 

What’s your favorite food to cook?
Italian

 

Sweet or savory?
Sweet

 

Mild or spicy?  
Learning to appreciate spicy

 

Wine or beer?  
Beer

 

Salt or pepper?  
Kosher salt

 

Red beans or gumbo?
Red beans

 

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