Today’s Chef in the Spotlight is Darryl Moiles, Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach. Among his professional highlights, Moiles was knighted into the Escoffier Society in 1996 and participated in Julia Child’s Tribute Dinner. Darryl began his career with Four Seasons in 1995 at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston he then joined the opening team at Four Seasons Resort Aviara in San Diego, California. It was here at Aviara that Moiles honed and sharpened his culinary skills which ultimately led him to being named Executive Sous Chef of the San Diego property in 2003. In 2005, Moiles was among six finalists to represent the United States in the Academie Culinarie de France’s International Trophy de Cuisine and Patisserie. A Four Seasons Resort career man Moiles has contributed much of his culinary ingenuity to the success of many menus and in turn has attributed much of his success to the Four Seasons Resorts. Let’s find out a bit more about this week’s Chef in the spotlight, Darryl Moiles.
South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
Darryl Moiles: Inspiration come from every were. Eating with my wife is so cool, she travels for work as a corporate planner so she is always seeing and eating great things all over the world, whenever she goes somewhere I get creative and try to make things that are from were she is traveling to, friends and family, coworkers in the hotel, everyone is always finding new favorites and its great to hear about or experience those with them. Relationships with other chefs, visiting their restaurants and talking with them , the local markets always show off great products and farmers like Jodi and Daren Swank who always bring inspiration with what they grow, downtown on the waterfront on Saturdays you can see me with my family and also other chefs walking around and talking about what we have right here, also current trends that are on the news or Food Network and its important to be involved with the community and and events around town, for example we will have the 2011 Food and Wine kick off here at the Four Seasons with Michael Schwartz from Michael’s Genuine and then we will be at the event on 150 Worth as well this Gives us a chance to talk with people to see what they like and dislike.
South Florida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking was your passion?
Darryl Moiles: I think at a young age, watching and learning from my mom. We grew up with a large garden, I remember her making preserves and jarring preserved vegetables. She also made many baked goods and got me involved with 4-H competing in different contests.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item on your menu?
Darryl Moiles: We have several menus and all the chefs have really done a great job with developing new dishes. In the Restaurant Chef Steven has a fantastic veal chop filled with proscuitto and gouda as well as a great selection of seafood like Cobia, Grouper and Corvina all from Florida. Chef Jason’s menus are really a melting pot of ingredients and offer a great diversity of dishes. He has a short rib pot pie that I could eat every night, The yellow fin tuna is ridiculous with the shitake green onion relish. Chef Ricki who I think right now has the coolest menu going with street food concepts is unreal. I have not been able to decide what is the best out there because so many of them are off the charts. He has dishes as simple as chorizo manchego and Panela quesadilla but it is so packed with flavor you want more, his version of the cuban sandwich done as a spring rolls and as well as the Piadina’s are the most popular. Our PHO soup is killer and a must have, coming out with sides that you can enhance the sour sweet or spicy aspects. Chicken 65 is a spicy boneless wing and I think the most unique and one of the coolest is the Bhel Puri, this is an Indian dish of puffed rice and crispy noodles that has a mint and cilantro dressing and a little heat and also the tamarind that offers a great balance of sweetness. Every come back for more with that one.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make at home?
Darryl Moiles: To be honest and she will hate me for saying so but my wife is such a great cook, I really love to eat what she
prepares. Favorites of mine are her chicken enchiladas and her version ofstreet tacos, and she also makes a really good tikka masala. Every Holiday she prepares huge dinners with all the trimmings that are really phenomenal. She has several dishes that she makes for us and every time she tells me what she is making I am trying to figure out how to get home to get some. The best part is she always saves me some for me. Other wise if its me cooking I like just about anything, I love to cook over our fire pit from start to finish. it also helps keep the kitchen clean inside, so sort of a win win situation.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Darryl Moiles: A couple thoughts, being around food so much for me it might not be what to eat but who to eat with, food always is better with loved ones. Eating my last meal with my wife and kids, my parents and brothers would be my wish and I would want to cook it for them over an open pit fire, multiple cuts of meat and fish, vegetables from the gardens, clean simple food, I want to see their reactions and enjoyment. If it could only be about food well this is a hard, I would like to think I would want something that I can’t go wrong with. But the reality is I don’t know. If I think about it I guess what I would really want is something I have never had before, something that someone I have never met prepares for me. A dish that will let me have a
mesmerizing experience. As I am eating I want to say that is the coolest and greatest thing I have ever tasted or experienced. I am exposed to so many cultures with food with the team I work with and I am never disappointed when they prepare something from their home or past. it blows my mind the diversity of food and that it just never ends.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would love to cook with and why? Darryl Moiles: Right now I think Andon Luis Aduriz, Mugaritz. He is cutting edge, technically phenomenal, innovative and a perfectionist. He inspires me with his creativity, his beliefs and his uniqueness in his cuisine.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?
Darryl Moiles: Without thinking, any salami, pork belly pork sausages or cheese! But to be honest I go through different cravings all the time. When my wife bakes this stuff calls to me in my sleep, she is always telling me “don’t touch this or else” I love it, maybe its the thrill of the chase I don’t know but I find myself cutting a piece of pie or cake or knocking down some cookies without anyone looking. And I always like to blame my oldest, sorry dude just preparing you for life. I really have to focus on my focus to not eat all those items. I also like salty items for me a late night snack at like 230-3 am, Fried bologna sandwiches, are you kidding me! Or a charred hot dog with as much junk on it as possible. But to really be honest this might be because of not having it available but I love In and Out, the double double animal style is perfect. I really do hate fast food unless it is a home made taco shop or just a family owned burger bar or something like that but In and Out, damnnnn! Every time my family goes over to see family I beg for them to bring one back I think even a day old I would still love it, it also seems that whenever a friend of mine goes to California they are texting me a picture of them eating in In and Out. It’s painful!
South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Darryl Moiles: I go out all the time, The last restaurant was Cafe Boulud with Chef Jim Leikin, I ordered what I wanted and then he sent out some tasting of dishes. It was so good. I also went to Pangea for lunch, Chef Ryan has a new menu that is very cool and not the run of mill. I love his sense of adventure and creativity. I was also over at Buccan recently, Clay is great and his team do a real nice job. Food is creative and fun and the experience is different from others. I also think he has some of the best drinks, I will say it 100 times over, I love the Salty dog, it has become a staple for me. Totally fits here is South Florida.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for? And why?
Darryl Moiles: My grandfather Everet Sinclair. He passed away just as I was starting to come up the ranks, he used to take me and brothers out to catch blue crabs, digging for quohogs, racking clams and fishing when we were kids. I remember visiting him in Cape Cod, he and my grandmother would make some killer meals, always a full breakfast, sandwiches on the beach that I can still remember the taste and dinners that were massive, all the aunts and uncles and cousins were there and then as kids we got to make our own icecream, all hand cranked, it took a while but it was sooooo good. I think to cook for him now and let him know he inspired me in so many ways.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Darryl Moiles: Cycling, this was big part of my past, I really enjoy the escape and how I feel when the ride is over. I love to shop with my wife, home projects or just out in the mall, its fun when I get a little fashion show from her trying on new outfits then asking me my opinion, or going into the pottery barn and thinking about what we could do if we were rich. We always have a little fun in Williams Sonoma, and so on. It always seem we have a coffee in hand and a great time. What I do love (hint hint to the family) is If I am lucky my kids make breakfast in bed, or my wife has some donuts and I wake up slowly. Going to the driving range with my oldest son, or to the beach with the whole family. To be honest its always different and a long as we are having fun that’s all that matters.
Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach 2800 South Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, Florida 33480
Click here to read previous Spotlight interviews