In the Resy Questionnaire, we play a game of 20 questions with the industry folks behind some of our favorite restaurants. What’s your most memorable restaurant experience? Your favorite food movie? What restaurant would you want to time-travel for?
In Dallas’ first edition, we talk to Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman, the executive chef behind the thrilling modern Mexican fare at José.
The Resy Questionnaire
1. Favorite thing you’ve ever cooked?
Anything over live fire in Mexico. The wood is different. The meat is different. The veggies are different. It tastes like my childhood.
2. Kitchen tool or equipment you couldn’t live without?
I couldn’t live without my utility knife. I can brunoise shallots or break down a rib eye.
3. What pantry items would you bring on a desert island?
4. What’s your favorite place to get barbecue in Dallas?
Slow Bone … Not only for the barbecue and the amazing sides, but for the fried chicken as well. There are many good barbecue spots in Dallas, but for me, it’s all about the sides. They have the best mac ‘n’ cheese and squash casserole!
5. Favorite cookbook?
With over 100 cookbooks, it’s hard to narrow it down to one. But The Food Bible by Judith Wills has been a favorite since early in my career.
6. Your drink of choice?
7. Favorite food movie?
8. Your ideal dinner party guests, dead or alive?
I would love to have all my chef friends over for a kick-ass dinner party. With our hectic work schedules, it’s almost impossible to get together and cook. Could you imagine that menu!?
9. What restaurant industry person do you admire the most?
Martha Ortiz, a badass Latina chef who’s been a huge influence on Mexican cuisine for many years.
10. The greatest restaurant experience of your life so far?
Le Bernardin in New York. From the wines to the service to the food, it was immaculate.
11. Your greatest professional achievement?
My greatest professional achievement happens every time my restaurant is full, and the staff and guests are happy.
12. What single dish best describes your personality?
Aguachile — it’s sweet, sour, and spicy.
13. If you could go back in time, which restaurant would you dine at?
My mother’s kitchen table. She passed away in August, and I would do anything to have her cook one more time for me.
14. Your favorite meal from childhood?
My mother’s caldo de res.
15. Your wish for the restaurant industry?
My wish for the industry is for everyone to be treated with respect, not just from guests, but from coworkers as well.
16. What do you wish you did better? What do you do well?
Better: I wish I was better at fixing things! I can hardly screw a lightbulb in. I see chefs take apart blenders and robot coupes and I’m slightly jelly. I can break down a pig or a fish, but don’t ask me to look at the dishwasher. It’s like reading another language.
Well: I can easily manipulate flavors that don’t normally play well together into a sophisticated dish.
17. If you could eat through a city for a day, where would you go?
Hands down, Mexico City. Not only is the street food great, but some of the most incredible dining experiences I’ve had in my life were there.
18. The one thing you can’t resist splurging on when you go out?
Champagne. I can’t resist starting a good meal with bubbles.
19. What do you value most in restaurants?
The staff. They are the most valuable part of any restaurant.
20. It’s your last meal on earth, what are you eating?
Again, any dish my mom used to make. It’s a tough call between her guiso de puerco and her caldo de res.