Personality Test: Shawn Culp
Chef Shawn Culp has been an instructor at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Le Cordon Bleu, an executive chef at Chartiers Country Club, and even represented the United States at the Culinary Olympics in Europe. So there aren’t a lot of food-related challenges he can’t handle.
Recently, though, he had to figure out what to do with a bunch of edible crickets. Big Cricket Farms in Youngstown called him, wanting to introduce their product, and asked Culp and his students to play around with them and come up with something interesting. They created a multicourse meal with items such as cricket-horseradish crusted beef, twice-baked potato and seasonal vegetables, and spinach and ricotta ravioli with cricket pesto.
“When people think of bugs, they think of the spider they stepped on yesterday, with guts spewing out of it,” Culp says. “That throws you off. These crickets are a special species of cricket that’s bred for consumption. They’re good for eating. Very little water and resources go into raising them, and they’re packed with protein.”
“(They’re) kind of nutty. … They’re actually kind of pleasant. Kind of crunchy, with a sunflower-seed flavor.”
The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:
Matt Damon is a really close match to my personality/characteristics.
The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:
My original Nintendo
The superpower I wish I had in real life:
Healing power, to help cure disease and heal wounds
Favorite ethnic food:
I have favorites from all cuisines; this is an impossible question for me.
I spend the most time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other:
Pick one: “Veep,” “House of Cards” or “Scandal”:
“House of Cards”
Show I have or want to binge watch:
“The Walking Dead”
My favorite cable channel:
The Disney character most like me:
My favorite TV or movie villain:
Jason Vorhees (“Friday the 13th”)
Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:
The first band I saw in concert:
Phil Collins 1991 Star Lake Amphitheater
The best concert I’ve seen:
Pick one: Pirates, Penguins, Steelers or other:
Favorite lunchtime spot:
A Taste of Art (The Art Institute)
Best vacation ever:
Honeymoon in Aruba
I wish I had more time to:
My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:
If I were auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:
“Let It Go” from “Frozen.” Just kidding; I would never audition for “American Idol.”
My most embarrassing junk food:
Pick one: Cheetos, Cheez-It or Cheerios:
Favorite guilty pleasure:
Garrett Caramel Popcorn from Chicago
My favorite thing about Pittsburgh:
My childhood nickname:
My first job:
Working at a bingo hall
My worst job:
I’m deathly afraid of:
Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:
My most treasured fashion accessory:
What you’ll always find in my glove compartment:
If I wasn’t a chef, I’d be:
A food scientist
The last book I read:
“Primeval Origins: Paths of Anguish”
My favorite website:
If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:
No one; I am the luckiest person on Earth. I have the best family and happiness that anyone could ask for.
The song that always gets me out on the dance floor:
“The Chicken Dance” song because it is a law to dance to this at weddings
Family, good food and good wine
My personal motto:
Strive for perfection and excellence will be the standard.
The overused phrase I hate most:
It is what it is.
People would be surprised to know that I:
Am a member of Culinary Team USA 2016, Youth Team USA coach. I was previously a team member of the National Culinary Team USA 2016 before transitioning into a coaching role.