Former contestant on “Top Chef” and restaurateur Arnold Myint brings his drag alter ego to Palm Springs this weekend to host the Arenas Black Party tomorrow. We caught up with the chef before his visit and probed some brief questions… Here is the second portion of our interview.
Can you tell us about Suzy?
Suzy is quite the lady. She is polished, educated and inspired. Created based on the novel “The World of Suzie Wong,” Suzy is a philanthropist and social hostess that enjoys attending and hosting various charity events. She is also the domestic goddess that compliments Arnold quite well.
Can you tell us about Suzy Wong’s House of Yum?
This is one of my four establishments. It is an Asian inspired restaurant that is located in the heart of the gay nightlife scene. You can literally have cocktails and dinner, and see a drag show and dance all in one complex.
Can you tell us about “Top Chef” and what made you get involved with the show?
Well, I have a competitive nature — I toured the world as a professional figure skater in my youth — and knew that “Top Chef” would be good PR and an effective branding strategy for me as I built his own little culinary endeavors.
How have things changed after the show?
I made a great decision to push myself in a way that only a few are fortunate to experience. ”Top Chef” definitely has impacted my life in a positive way; I have grown in exposure and passion. I’ve met so many inspiring people and have had opportunities for projects that I could have only dreamed of had I not made this leap.
What do you have planned with your new restaurant Blvd Nashville?
BLVD is my newest venture. It’s a cozy and approachable concept located in my neighborhood. French inspired, it really is a feel good place with subtle twists to comforting cuisine and service. We also have a french fry section on the menu … who doesn’t love that!
What are some of your favorite food trends at the moment?
Honestly, as current as I may seem, I am at a bit of a loss with where the food scene is right now. I’m not really even sure what this means. To me, food is a staple and something that everyone identifies with. Whatever the hot ticket or concept is right now is just a “flash in the pan” (pun intended), what I feel is important is how food can make us feel in all aspects of our senses. So I guess my favorite “food trend” is that of family style dining and community tables. I love interaction with people and the whole idea of social time.
What are some of your favorite drink trends?
Continuing on trends, I adore a classic cocktail with a simple variation or as I like to say “A hint of Myint”….get it? lol
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I love Palms Springs and I am excited to be back. I love the revamp of The Skylark and can’t wait to get back to BAR for a drink and to play shuffle board; and to nosh with my friends at Workshop Kitchen. I may stay a couple days after to recover with a little Spa day at Andreas … So much to do!
Read about how Myint got involved with Greater Palm Springs Pride here.