August 7, 2011

Interview with Daniel Buss, Executive Chef at Fairmont Turnberry Isle

This week’s Chef in the Spotlight is Daniel Buss of Fairmont Turnberry Isle in Aventura. Chef Buss has an excitingly impressive resume boasting famous kitchens and cooking for equally as famous people. Whether its cooking within the fascinating realm of fame and glamour or for guests in his restaurants at Fairmont Turnberry Isle, what inspires and resonates with Chef Buss the most is the freshest of ingredients; so much so that there is a chef’s garden on property at Turnberry Isle where Buss sources many herbs, vegetables and fruits for his menus. (If you having lunch or dinner at Turnberry Isle request a garden tour when you make your reservation). It is in this garden where the talented Daniel Buss seems to be most comfortably at home.  Let’s find out a bit more about the man in the kitchen and the garden that inspires him so. This week’s South Florida Food and Wine Chef in the Spotlight is Daniel Buss.

South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?

Daniel Buss: I get my culinary inspiration by working with the freshest seasonal ingredients I can find including incredible herbs, fruits and vegetables grown right here at Fairmont Turnberry Isle in our very own chef’s garden.

South Florida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking was your passion?

Daniel Buss: When I was about 15-years-old and was already working in a kitchen. I just loved the fast-paced action of the kitchen and especially the creative aspect.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item on your menu?

Daniel Buss: Anything that utilizes the seasons’ bounty. Right now, we have fresh local garlic scapes, the most amazing locally-grown melons, tomatoes and beans, and we always utilize Florida’s fresh fish. Now if you want to get really specific, I’d probably have to say that the braised short rib pappardelle and the local swordfish with fork-mashed potatoes, fennel and olive vinaigrette are a couple of my favorite items on our Cascata Grille restaurant menu.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make at home? 

Daniel Buss: I make a lot of quick pasta dishes.  I love to cook simple grilled or roasted fish like wild salmon, halibut, swordfish and mahi.  I also enjoy making fresh salads.

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?

Daniel Buss: It’s so hard to say, I would probably have to go with some rustic comfort food.  One of my favorites is Schnitzel, rosti potatoes with a tossed-butter leaf salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh dill dressing.

South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would love to cook with and why? 

Daniel Buss: Daniel Boulud– I respect him immensely.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?

Daniel Buss: Chocolate and gummy bears

South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at? 

Daniel Buss: A sushi restaurant that is nearby my house in Pembroke Pines.

South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for? And why? 

Daniel Buss: Barack Obama, he is a real foodie and appreciates good food and good restaurants. I love what Michelle Obama did with the garden at the White House, too.

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun? 

Daniel Buss: Spend time with my kids, and yes, cook a great meal.  There is nothing that gives me more pleasure then seeing the people I love eating and enjoying delicious healthy food.

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Cascata Grill and the Fairmont Turnberry Isle19999 West Country Club Drive Aventura 33180

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