Tyson Cole

Passionate about the Japanese tradition, Austin-based chef Cole has studied under two different sushi masters. At his restaurant Uchi, he combines impeccable technique with a spirit of adventure - developing unprecedented multicultural combinations. Look for a more upscale, menuless concept to come to Austin in 2007.

Describe the moment you knew you wanted to be a chef.

I watched a master slice sashimi, and it made me think of flesh LEGOs - how cool is that! Suddenly, I saw food as a physical form that I could sculpt into anything. It opened up a whole world of creativity.

What one dish is always on your holiday table?

Gravy and mashed potatoes.

What is your best cooking tip for the holidays?

Keep it simple. Make three or four things really well rather than a dozen that are mediocre.

What chef from the present or past would you choose as your personal chef?

My wife, who has a Cordon Bleu degree and makes delicious food.

What is your advice to future chefs?

Be patient. Listen. Becoming a chef takes a ­lifetime.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

Our snow-cone machine at Uchi. We use it to serve sashimi, to retain its temperature and resiliency.

Describe the last meal you ate.

Salad with green figs and pluots, red currants, pumpkinseed oil, and Gruyère.

What do you prepare at home for yourself and for your family?

I love my large Le Creuset Dutch oven. It is so easy to just cut up a bunch of fresh ingredients and throw them in there.