What tips did you pick up while you were doing the cooking school?
"I learned a lot – I learned how to cook fish, cook burgers. You gotta make sure the fish is dry, no water! And cook it skin down and use grape seed oil. I learned from the best!"
What was the favorite thing you ate?
"I gained 20 pounds, man. I’ve lost 15 of and still have 5 more to go. I love the Franklin Brisket, the Cuban sandwiches in Miami, the Kimchi Tacos in L.A, it was good."
What’s the secret to the Cuban sandwich?
"It’s the sauce. That’s what’s hard – how much mustard, how much mayo, it’s gotta be perfect. And you gotta have the right pernil – it has to be perfect. You have to put butter on both side, on la plancha!"
In terms of being Puerto Rican and Colombian, do you prefer one of the cuisines more than the other?
"I love all Latin food – I love my Mexican, I love my Dominican, I love it all. I love my chicharron de pollo, arroz gon gandules, it’s hard. I can’t. Why do I have to choose? Is this Sophie’s Choice?!"
When are you opening your own restaurant?
"I’ve learned my lesson, you didn’t see that special? Actors should not be opening up restaurants or clubs! That’s how they lose all their money. Their friends always have some idea–'Man I have this idea for a restaurant'...50K here 50K there and they’re all broke."
So what’s next for you after this?
"I did this great Shakespeare movie called Cymbeline, with Ed Harris and Ethan Hawke coming out this fall and this other amazing movie – right now it’s called Stealing Cars with William H. Macy, Felicity Hoffman, and Emory Cohen."
Catch CHEF the film in theatres on May 9th.