Chef Michael White On Being An Olive Oil Snob - Exclusive

During an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, chef Michael White shared details about his recent career change, leaving the Altamarea Group and relaunching The Lambs Club in NYC. Chef White may have a pedigreed career, James Beard Award, and some Michelin stars under his belt, but he's got a punk rock soul.

The chef regularly posts reels of his haute cuisine on Instagram with rap artists like Busta Rhymes playing in the background, and every so often images from a tattoo sesh interrupt the steady stream of gorgeous food pics. White even partnered with his buddy, Action Bronson, on a "F**k That's Delicious" pop-up for Vice. He regaled us with a story that involved a late-night jaunt with Anthony Bourdain, in which they made it back to their hotel by way of a bumpy ride in the back of a pickup truck. When asked what his favorite dish is from the new Lambs Club menu, he says that choosing one would be like trying to choose a favorite Ramones song.

White is unpretentious and not ashamed to admit to enjoying a Coca-Cola after dinner ... but when it comes to olive oil, chef White has serious standards.

An invaluable ingredient

Chef White didn't skip a beat when asked if there was an ingredient he feels is invaluable in the kitchen, stating "Right now, let me tell you ... I would definitely say olive oil. It's such a big deal when you cook. Whether it's for crudos or drizzling on simple greens with sea salt." But White doesn't use just any old olive oil picked up on sale at the grocery store for his dishes, he explains he has a few different olive oils that he likes to utilize, depending on the recipe and flavor he's after.

When pressed to name a favorite brand or variety, chef White couldn't choose, describing himself as "kind of an oil snob" and offering a few of his go-to options and how he uses them. White shared, "If I'm eating a bowl of borlotti beans or a soup or something, you definitely want to have a Tuscan brand, a very fragrant olive oil. When I'm dressing crudos, maybe I'll use something a little bit lighter so I can taste the fish."

The Lambs Club, featuring a new menu courtesy of James Beard award-winning chef Michael White, is now open in New York's Theater District for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.