The Tenth Degree: Dale Talde

In Brooklyn, A Chef Fears Sharks

Dale Talde

Dale Talde

Victor Perez

Dale Talde, a Chicago-born son of Filipino immigrants, may be best know for his appearances on Bravo’s Top Chef, though he started his culinary career years earlier, helping out in his mother’s kitchen. He went on to train professionally at the Culinary Institute of America and cooked at establishments around the country, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Vong, in Chicago, and Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto restaurant in New York City.

In 2012, he brought his own Asian-inflected cooking to Brooklyn's Park Slope restaurant with an eponymous restaurant, Talde, and is currently in the process of spreading his mini empire to Jersey City, where he recently opened up another Talde—along with Italian marketplace Carrino Provisions—and further afield to Miami, where yet another Talde outpost will open up this summer. Before his empire grew even bigger, we decided to give him our Saveurified Proust questionnaire.

What is your favorite sandwich?
A Reuben.

Your house is on fire and you can only save one thing. What is it and why?
My fiancée, Agnes. Because I love her.

What book(s) is on your bedside table right now?
The rough draft of my cookbook which I'm in the middle of editing.

You're having a dinner party and can invite three people, dead or alive, and serve them one thing. Who are they, what do you serve, and why?
Jesus, Michael Jordan, and Guru from Gang Starr. I'd serve them Chicken Adobo because I'd want them to eat food from my culture.

What is your greatest fear?
Failure and sharks.

What is the most overrated ingredient? Underrated?
Most overrated: foie gras and truffles. Most underrated: shrimp paste.

You can have any superpower. What is it and why?
The ability to teleport because I am constantly late to everything.

What's the first thing you learned to cook?
Rice.

What is the best advice you've ever gotten, and from whom?
When I was younger, my dad and I were playing basketball. He's not very good and I'm not much better, but he noticed that every time I was shooting, my shot would change, so he said to me, "You need to stick to one thing and do that one thing well." And I really hope I've lived up to that.

How do you want to die? Surrounded by loved ones. Or old, telling a really funny joke, and then immediately dying from a heart attack.