Zeb McDermott is the chef of Asheville’s Sazerac, a new, swanky yet comfortable cocktail lounge that serves French and New Orleans inspired fare. McDermott is a graduate of the AB Tech culinary program and has cooked in several local restaurants, including the now closed 28806 Deli as well as Savoy. Although Sazerac keeps him very busy, he made the time to answer a few questions for Bold Life.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Since I cook for people all day, I think perfect happiness would be someone cooking for me all the time.
What is your greatest fear?
One of my cooks coming at me with a chefs knife.
What is your inspiration?
Seeing how happy a customer is after eating my food.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Really good junk food is probably the only one I should mention.
What is your current state of mind?
Clear but very busy.
What is the quality you most like in a person?
Ability to make people laugh.
What is the quality you least like in a person?
Bad communication skills.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be fluent with a musical instrument.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I am still working on that.
What would you choose to be if you were to be reincarnated?
A cat because they always land on their feet.
What is your favorite thing to do on a cold day?
What would you cook for the President?
What is your favorite culinary tool?
What is your idea of hell on earth?
Living in a constant state of fear.
What quality do you most value in your friends?
Their sense of loyalty.
Who is your favorite chef?
Who is your favorite writer?
Who are your heroes in real life?
Jack and Lesley Groetsch.
What is it that you most dislike?
Watching other people eat cereal.
What food could you not live without?
What music could you not live without?
Rock n Roll, baby.
How would you like to die?
How would you like to live?
What is your motto?
Don’t think so much about the past that you stop moving forward.