Q: Eating as a family and cooking as a family can really be its own tradition. How have the traditions of your upbringing influenced your craft?
Chef Victor Avila, Spaghettini: Growing up I would watch my Mom cook in the kitchen. It brought her so much happiness to see people enjoying her cooking. Now it brings me the same pleasure to see so many people enjoy my dishes.
Q: Sunday dinner can be defined by the marrying of food and the marrying of family. What dishes tie things together for you? What are the staples that bring everyone to your table?
VA: In my family, Sunday dinner means seafood. Salmon, shrimp, and scallops are always in abundance at my Sunday dinners.
Q: Twenty years ago, the Food Network looked very different. Do you think that the rise in food-culture and food-social media brought more families to the table on Sunday or apart?
VA: I believe the Food network had a significant impact on how people both cook and eat. Not only have many new people found inspiration in cooking, but they are much more open to trying exotic foods from other countries. All of this makes its way onto the Sunday table.
Q: How do your choices for Sunday dinner differ from the dishes on special occasions and holidays?
VA: On holidays I like to stick with the more traditional items, but on Sunday dinners I am likely to bring out all my family’s favorite dishes.
Q: How does Sunday dinner differ from season to season? And what are your favorite seasons when it comes to the produce available?
VA: My Sunday dinners change with the season because I always prefer to cook with in-season items. My favorite season for produce is spring because I love the variety of what’s available.
Q: If you had a time machine and got to witness how family and friends made Sunday dinner 50 years ago, what do you think we’d see? How has it changed?
VA: 50 years ago I imagine Sunday dinners would be traditional family recipes served at home. Now families are much more likely to go out for dinner and let someone else do the cooking. As a restaurant Chef, this is excellent news, but I just finished writing a new Spaghettini cookbook because I also want people to be able to enjoy our food at home.