Chef Chat, Part 2: How Trevor White of Morton's Grille Was Forced to Cook For Himself
Photo by Mai Pham Trevor White's mother 'encouraged' him to cook when he was 13.
This is the second part of a two-part Chef Chat feature. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.
This week, we're chatting with Trevor White, a regional chef with Landry's, whose job is to oversee 20 restaurants, among them Morton's The Steakhouse, The Oceanaire and the new Morton's Grille in The Woodlands. In Part 1 of our chef chat, White described his role in the Landry's organization and shared the process for developing the new menu at Morton's Grille. Today he talks about the events in his life that led him to become a chef.
EOW: How much time are you spending traveling now? What is a typical week like for you?
TW: I usually fly out on Monday. If I go to a cluster group -- let's say the L.A. area -- then I'll usually hit two or three restaurants that week, make a quick trip and go through. I've done weeks on end in a restaurant. We just opened in Biloxi, but it's usually Monday through Friday, and I usually fly home in the afternoon and try to spend as much time as possible with my family.
EOW: That must be really hard on your personal life. I'm sure it's harder than the regular daily grind of being a chef in the kitchen.
TW: People have asked me that before, and usually when you're in a restaurant and you're responsible for a single restaurant, I take ownership of it. I would work anywhere from 12 to 14 hours a day, sometimes five to six days a week with The Oceanaire. I'd leave the house around 8:30 to 9 o'clock in the morning, and wouldn't get home until probably 10 or 11 o'clock at night. I'm married. I have three kids -- a seven-year-old, a five-year-old and a two-and-half-year old -- so I actually see them more now, because traditionally I'm home Friday evening, and I get Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday, where before I'd only get one day with them.
EOW: Tell me how you got into the chef business.
TW: Oh gosh, years ago. I'm 43 now. I was a very picky eater as a kid. My mom was a great cook, but I didn't like half of the stuff she ate.
EOW: Such as...
TW: Asparagus, broccoli, vegetables.
EOW: Vegetables! So it's very appropriate that you're at a steak restaurant.