Atlanta chef Juan Montier approaches his food much like a designer. Before cooking, he sketches. He even sketches the cocktails. This is very unusual.
“I primarily started sketching the food because I needed to communicate my team exactly what I wanted it to look like,” Montier said in an interview with Lois Reitzes. With a background in architecture and interiors, this design savvy probably influenced one of his cooking philosophies, which is “your eyes eat before your mouth does.”
Montier traces his love for cooking to his aunt and to decadent meals that he and his friends prepared in college. Today, he and his wife Judith run Chez Montier, which provides services in food, décor and lifestyle.
Along with hosting pop-up dinners like his upcoming Valentine’s dinner at Bloomingdale’s, Montier has cooked for celebrities like Diana Ross. No matter who he cooks for, though, he makes sure to infuse his food with love.
“For me, cooking is how I express my love … It’s my love language,” he said. “I really try to express that love with anyone who comes in contact and revels in my food.”
For Valentine’s Day, he pointed out that artichokes are a very romantic food item.
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