It's not at all surprising that Todd English, one of Colin Cowie's favorite people, is a Virgo. After all, aren't most chefs? Last night at the "Evening Under the Stars" event at Crossbar, Grub Street talked to him about his OCD-ish sign, how it translates onto the plate, and if astrology is indeed related to cuisine.
Which signs prefer which foods?
Aries and Sagittarius are fire signs, so they are exotic and passionate and sweet and strong at the same time ... Virgo is healthy — I'm a Virgo — which is about health and awareness and passion ... Cancers are cool. I have two kids who are Cancer. They're level.
How does being a Virgo affect you in the kitchen?
I've heard it's insane! We're passionate, ADD at times, which is good in the kitchen. A lot of chefs have those issues ... Virgos are complex, but they're very organized and they're anal, so that helps me in the kitchen as well, because I like to keep things right ... I like things very neat, organized ... If things aren't that way, I go crazy. I can't work in a dirty kitchen. I can't plate a plate if the spoon is out of place, so that's the thing that's definitely Virgo ... You need to have your mise-en-place, you need to have your saucers, you need to have everything organized. You need to have hot food ready to go, cold food ready to go, your salads, your garnishes and everything out of the kitchen, and that's how the kitchen works. It doesn't work if it's a disaster, and I've worked in many disastrous kitchens when I was actually working in Italy. You need to have a system, and I like systems, and that's certainly a trait of a Virgo.