One thing you don't know about me is that I'm a pretty serious student of Muay Thai (a martial arts form originated in Thailand). I love to spar.
My new favorite ingredient to work with is Korean pepper paste. I've been putting it on sandwiches, blending it into gazpacho or making a Korean barbecue sauce for a family meal.
One of my most memorable meals was at Dovetail restaurant in New York City, where they offer every Monday night a dinner focused on vegetables. Chef John Fraser needs to open a restaurant focused on that concept. Now every chef in town is following in his footsteps.
If there were no Long Island Pekin Duck, I'd have no reason to live. Unfortunately, there aren't many farms left that still breed them. It's nice to see that Suffolk County, NY, where I grew up, did something right.
My go-to drink is gin and tonic — Hendrick's or Blue Coat — with lime. Hold the cucumber for the Brits.
If I were on death row my last meal would be a ham and mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich. Also, crab and pork soup dumplings, paella ala Valencia, any duck dish at Perilla, Creekstone Farms rib eye steak and green papaya salad.
My worst culinary creation was a durian fruit and blue cheese soufflé. It was the only time my kitchen smelled like a Citi Field (ballpark where the Mets play) restroom.
If I could change one thing about me it would be my vision. I always wanted to have 20/20.
My favorite junk food is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
If I wasn't a restaurant operator, I'd love to be a Navy fighter pilot.
Harold Dieterle, winner of Top Chef, season one, is the chef/owner of Perilla and Kin Shop restaurants in New York City.