Chef Govind Armstrong has been working in the kitchens of prestigious restaurants since he was a teenager. Now co-owner of the hot spot Table 8, with locations in Los Angeles and Miami, Govind is becoming a well-known chef. Gayle talks with Govind about his passion for food and his first cookbook, Small Bites, Big Nights: Seductive Little Plates for Intimate Occasions and Lavish Parties.
As a child, Govind says he loved to cook and helped plan menus for his mother's many parties. "I would do all the shopping with my mom," he says. "I would write the lists and everything, do all the prep work." Govind was introduced to Wolfgang Puck at age 13, and through an apprenticeship program, he started working in the kitchen of Wolfgang's famed Los Angeles restaurant, Spago. "From that moment on, it was like, 'Okay, this feels so good, it feels so right,'" he says. "It was all kind of meant to be, I guess, and I'm so lucky and I know that."
Most of the time, Govind says, you can catch him hitting up a farmers' market or working in the kitchen of one of his restaurants, preparing fresh and simple meals. "My food is so ingredient-driven and so fresh and seasonal," he says. "I am somewhat of a purest and I love food and appreciate ingredients. … I just try to do as little to [the ingredients] as possible."