Corto in Your Kitchen

Chef Trevor Knotts

Watch our Film with Chef Trevor

Q & A with Chef Trevor

Q: How did you get started in the restaurant business?

A: I started at a really young age and learned a lot from my parents who always cooked from scratch at home. At the age of 13, I got my first work experience in a family friend’s restaurant and I was hooked. I spent all of my spare time working in restaurants. I never went to culinary school. I worked hard, paid attention, and got my culinary education by actually working in a kitchen. That education process is still happening — I am never done learning. As soon as you think you have nothing left to learn, you are dead in the water and will be left behind.

Q: What’s your creative process?

A: Inspiration comes from everywhere. I managed a tattoo shop for several years and was in men’s fashion for a couple of years. These experiences all translate into food plating, style, taste, and color. I want my food to make sense. I like molecular gastronomy but don’t want food to be too far removed from being a plate of food I want to eat. I am never completely satisfied with what I have created. I always think it can be better. If you feel something is perfect, then you are not trying hard enough because it can always be better.

I am never done learning. You never know whom you can learn from.

- Chef Trevor Knotts

Q: What are you proud of at your restaurants?

A: I am the proudest of the Family Meals I started at my restaurants. We have them on Saturday afternoons between brunch and dinner at 3:30pm. We plan it all week, figure out what we are going to do, put the menu on the board, and people would get excited about it. Sitting down and sharing a meal with my restaurant family is really special and reminiscent of family meals I had growing up at home. Having that kind of camaraderie with people you work with at a restaurant is very important.

Q: What role does Corto’s portfolio of oils play in your cooking?

A: Ingredients matter. You can’t hide what you put on a plate. When you have beautiful ingredients like Corto’s olive oils to work with, it just makes your life and job so much easier. I love the freshness and brightness of the Corto® oils. Freshness is critical, and makes a huge difference. I use TRULY® as a finishing oil, La Padella® for high heat searing and 51-49® for vinaigrettes where I don’t want the full olive oil flavor. They all have their own specific uses and work together to elevate my food.

Ingredients matter. You can’t hide what you put on a plate.

- Chef Trevor Knotts