Hogs for the Cause Q&A with Chef Tory McPhail | SierraSun.com

Hogs for the Cause Q&A with Chef Tory McPhail

Special to the Sun

New Orleans Milan

The second annual "Hogs for the Cause" charitable event returns to Lake Tahoe's North Shore on Friday, Aug. 25, and Saturday, Aug. 26.

The two-day benefit originated in New Orleans in 2009, as a fundraiser to aid the families of children who have been afflicted with cancer.

The event caught the attention of Crystal Bay Casino General Manager Bill Wood when he was visiting New Orleans. Wood stayed in touch, and the event debuted at Crystal Bay in 2016.

The two-day event will feature great tunes, fun, and tasty NOLA food prepared by the "Silence of Da Ham" crew. The team consists of four executive chefs from New Orleans. They are Mike Brewer with Morton's Steak House; Tory McPhail with Commander's Palace; Chris Montero with the Napoleon House; and Jared Ralls with La Boca and Primitivo.

The Sierra Sun caught up with McPhail ahead of the event.

Chef's Name: Tory McPhail

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Restaurant Name: Commanders Palace, New Orleans, La.

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in a tiny West Coast farming town named Ferndale, Wash.

How would your best customer describe your food?

We serve refined Haute Creole Cuisine that reflects the sophisticated elegance of New Orleans.

What's your favorite ingredient/flavor this season?

Currently, my favorite ingredients are fresh lemon and Japanese yuzu citrus, waygu beef, and golden osetra caviar. However, my cravings change all the time and I never want to live with regret, so I always OD to indulge my craving so I never have to live with regret.

What food do you see trending right now?

I see fermented foods as a hot item right now

Is there an ingredient or particular flavor that you disliked as a child that you love cooking with now?

I hated asparagus growing up, however I can't get enough these days. And then there's broccoli — I hated it as a kid and I hate it even more now.

What's your favorite comfort food (not necessarily on your menu)?

I love a hot roast beef French dip sandwich.

If you could choose, what would be your last meal on earth?

I might choose to have Jamaican Jerk Goat, aged rum and red stripes in soaking wet swim trunks, and go out like Steve Erwin if I had to choose.

What do you love about food?

Being a chef is an amazing and highly rewarding job. I love the human need and emotional attachment for what I have chosen as a career. There is no other career on the planet that appeals to effects every human on earth three times a day for their entire life.