Chef Marc Murphy is completely one of my top Chef Crushes in the culinary world. Not only is he easy on the eyes, but the man can just cook. Period. Just recently, I’ve had the amazing pleasure of being able to interview and pretty much ask him anything that I want – including things about the Chopped Television Show, his personal life, his role in showcasing the new line of Chopped Kitchen utensils, and maybe something about being stranded on an island. This is definitely one of the most fun and candid interviews that I’ve been able to host, so I hope you can keep up with everything and not bust a gut or two with my senseless humor and wit. So let’s get it going!
ME: Hey Chef! (Yes…I might have squealed when I said Chef. I come form the fine dining restaurant industry, and Chef is just what we call them). Thank you so much for giving me the time of day to chit chat about you, life, Chopped, and Chopped products on HSN. It’s definitely a pleasure, and great to interview another Murphy in life. SO of course, I have a ton of questions! Ha!
Chef Murphy: HAHA! Yes! You’re welcome, and thanks for having me on the line today.
ME: What was your biggest inspiration in making a decision in becoming a chef, and did you think you would have this huge of an impact on people’s culinary lives at home?
Chef Murphy: In a round about way, I have to give credit me having Dyslexia and just being a bad student. School was definitely not my forte at all. Plus, since my dad was an American Diplomat…we were always moving everywhere across the world every 2 to 3 months. Then I moved to NYC to live with my brother, and I literally slept on his couch. I didn’t even now that I wanted to cook at the age. I just knew that I had to work so I could eat. Then it dawned on me: If I could cook, I will always be able to eat. It didn’t matter if I ever became homeless, at least I could eat. So, I’m so very thankful to have had my first restaurant gig with Chef Terrance Brennan. And as far as having an impact on people and the kitchen, I think it’s definitely amazing and I never knew it was coming.
ME: I think that’s pretty awesome! It’s the same idea that I had in mind when I was I kid. If I could cook. I could eat. So, besides your amazing book “Season with Authority”, what is your favorite cookbook that you have in your library.
Chef Murphy: Well, Season with Authority IS pretty amazing LOL! A couple of my top favorites are White Heat and The Simple Cuisine. Both are just such great books that are full of amazing & classic sauces, simple dishes that have a huge impact on the palate, and they’re just very food inspiring.
ME: Is there a chef that you really admire and that helped inspire to push your creative juices for cooking?
Chef Murphy: There are just so many amazing chefs that pushed…from souse chefs on down. I drew inspiration from everywhere that I worked. However, Chef Jean Pierre Breaux and Chef Terrance Brennan were definitely the top two that just influenced me greatly! They took me under their wings as I watched them in amazement.
ME: Let’s talk food. What is your absolutely favorite comfort food to make for yourself and your family to indulge & enjoy?
Chef Murphy: Carbonara. Everyday. I can literally survive on that stuff and never get bored with it. For my family, they totally love my roasted chicken and potatoes. Simple, delicious, and you can never go wrong.
ME: I saw that you were recently on HSN showcasing a line of amazing cooking utensils from Chopped! I know all of the utensils are great, but is there on that stands out the most that someone just needs to have in their cooking arsenal?
Chef Murphy: YES! The Clever. Everyone needs to have a clever in the house, plus it’s just super cool with Chopped logo on it. The clever is high quality & amazing and at a great price for only $19.95. There is literally a clever in every restaurant in China! Just a fun fact. lol. Also, HSN also started building a Chopped Kitchen, and that kitchen is just a thing of beauty. I could cook in it everyday.
ME: Speeeaaaaking of Chopped…can talk some about it real fast? Seriously…how on earth did you get started with the show and what made you want to do it?
Chef Murphy: Well, 8 years ago an assistant from The Food Network sent me a DVD, and I was like…sure lol. Looks fun, and here I am still doing it. I love it. The best part of it all is that every time I go out with my wife somewhere, or am just walking in NYC, I always hear people yelling at me, “You’ve Been Chopped!” You would think it would get old, but it doesn’t lol. I hear it all of the time and have gotten used to it. My wife stills laughs lol.
ME: Is there a contestant that just sticks out the most in your head? Or how about a dish that you will never forget?
Chef Murphy: Well, there’s actually two dishes that stick out in my mind the most. The first is a dessert. This chef was able to transform Peppermint ice cream by adding whipped cream and condensed milk to it. It was absolutely delicious. Then there was the case of a soft shell crab dish. There was a leg of the crab that never made it into the pot. By the time it got to me, the crab leg was lukewarm and just raw. All I could do was shake my head, and push the plate to the side.
ME: Okay, so I always ask every chef this question, and I love the variety of answers I get. Besides Salt & Pepper, what is that one spice that everyone should have in their home?
Chef Murphy: Herbs de Provence. It’s just so nice, and a great seasoning to have on hand that you can use in just about any recipe.
ME: Okay, challenge time! Imagine that you’re on a deserted island, and you only have: coconuts, banana trees with ripe bananas for the picking, crab, and sweet potatoes. What would you make? And yes…you do have some basic kitchen utensils, as your boat was wrecked and washed ashore.
Chef Murphy: Are you kidding me? LOL! Oh geez. Well…I would collect salt water on the banana leaves so I can left it dry out to get sea salt, I would use the coconut milk with the sweet potatoes to mash, I would also shred the sweet potatoes and mix it with the bananas to make pancakes out of them, and then I would save a banana for dessert.
ME: You forgot the crab. You’ve been Chopped.
Chef Murphy: Doh! Hahahaha!