My food philosophy really revolves around beautiful ingredients and sourcing the best possible ingredients. All that hard work, all that love, all that passion, you can taste it. My style as a chef is really about being ingredient forward and letting them speak for themselves. This charred octopus with XO sauce and shishitos brings me back to a trip I took to Greece years ago, when I had this beautiful olive oil confit octopus. I like to cut the legs off so you get a nice curl while they’re confiting. Let it cook slow and low for about an hour until it’s tender. Soak dry scallops and dry shrimp overnight in Grey Goose vodka. Vodka adds a brightness and sweetness that contrasts the spices in the dish. Thai bird’s eye chilis, garlic, and shallot. Heat up some soy sauce, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Combine the two and the XO sauce is complete. Place the octopus legs on the plate, dress them with XO sauce, and add deep fried shishito peppers for garnish. The Grey Goose Rhyme or Riesling is a bright, easy to drink citrus-forward cocktail. Take mint leaves, slices of cucumber, a splash of bitters, lemon juice, Riesling reduction syrup, melon liqueur, and Grey Goose vodka. The clean, fresh flavors in Grey Goose really elevate this citrus-forward cocktail. It’s got a nice crisp palate. For garnish, dried slice of lemon, and some fresh lemon verbena. Grey Goose is the star in this pairing because it’s so versatile. In the octopus I use it to complement the dish. In the cocktail it’s the perfect contrast. The brightness and the citrus really cut through the decadence of the octopus.