My Kitchen Rules: Chef Vincent Watts
Here in Las Vegas, we are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a plethora of incredible chefs. These chefs are not only amazing in the kitchen but are also devoted to giving back the community and enriching the lives of the children that aspire to be like them. In this new series, we will be putting the spotlight on some of these chefs with our first wonderful volunteer being Vincent Watts, Sous Chef at MGM’s Ambra and owner of A Chef & A Knife. We were able to catch up with Chef Watts in the interview below!
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Detroit and grew up loving cooking as a kid. When I was 15, I worked for my uncle’s catering company and then in 2004, moved to Vegas to attend culinary school. Moving to Vegas and attending culinary school really opened my mind. I was able to taste food from all over the world and had the opportunity to really expand my palate.
Why did you decide to become a chef?
I have been around food my entire life. My brother was a chef at Caesars Palace which inspired me a lot. I realized I had a knack for pairing flavors and wanted to pursue it as a career.
Who was your role model as a kid?
My dad was my role model. He considers himself a home cook, taught me a lot about flavor, and would always ask me questions while we were cooking. Bobby Flay is another role model I look up to a lot. I really like his cooking style and he is very down to earth.
How can parents get their kids involved in cooking?
Engage your kids in the kitchen. Ask them questions and let them know that there is no right or wrong answer. Make sure to tell them that their ideas are valid and there is more than one way to do something.
What is your favorite cuisine?
I love Italian! I enjoy making pasta, especially ravioli from scratch. It is so easy and you can always freeze it for later.
If a child told you they wanted to be a chef, what advice would you give them?
Read books about cooking or articles online, there are so many free resources now! When you come of age, go to kitchens and ask if you can work a few hours for free. This will help you learn a lot. While culinary school gives you knowledge, working gives you the experience you need to be successful. I also love YouTube because there are countless videos that can teach you so many skills.
Chefs Watts’ favorite healthy dish for kids – Turkey and Spinach Meatballs
Ingredients (double measurements for two servings)
- Ground Turkey (32 ounces)
- Spinach (10 ounces)
- Whole Grain Mustard (4 ounces)
- Panko (10 ounces)
- Fennel Seeds (2 ounces)
- Chili Flakes (2 tsp)
- Dry Oregano (3 ounces)
- Salt (2 tsp)
- Pepper (1 tsp)
- Pre-heat oven to 400°
- Combine all ingredients and mix until well incorporated
- Form into 2 ounce balls and put on baking sheet
- Bake for 8-10 minutes
- Cool to below 41 degrees