Ask most Tour pros to name their favorite stainless-steel
implement, and they'll probably pick a wedge. Mark Brooks's
choice is his colander, one of many cooking utensils in his
600-square-foot kitchen in Fort Worth, Texas.
SI: How did you learn to cook?
MB: Both of my parents worked--Mom was a high school drama
teacher and Dad was a Baptist minister--so I often had to feed
myself. Also, my grandparents loved gardening and grew lots of
vegetables, like carrots, tomatoes, winter squash and turnips.
SI: What do you cook these days?
MB: Marinated meats--steaks and veal chops are hard to beat--and
Italian, mainly pasta. I'm also into chocolate souffles.
SI: What's better, gas or electric?
MB: Gas is king. Electric cooks much slower and makes it too hard
to change temperatures.
SI: What stove do you have?
MB: A Dynamic Cooking Systems model with six burners, a double
oven and a griddle.
SI: What are the keys to being a great cook?
MB: There are five: 1) Great skillets. I like Calphalon, but
whatever you use, you must have a mix of stick and nonstick.
Omelettes and veggies are best in nonstick, but stick is
mandatory for things like browning meats, gumbo and sauces. 2)
Use a variety of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Use high-grade
oils and vinegars with any part of a recipe that's
flavor-related. 3) Always have fresh garlic, onions and peppers.
4) A good colander. The plastic ones with little holes are a
joke. Mine's made of steel, shaped like a rectangular basket and
has rubber feet so it won't sit too low in the sink and can stand
on a counter. 5) A good mixer. I have a Classic KitchenAid, which
is the key to my cakes, breads and batters.
SI: If you could have a personal chef, whom would you hire?
MB: There's only one to consider--Paul Prudhomme--but I'd weigh 400
SI: You've probably thought a lot about this: What would you want
for your last meal?
MB: You know something I don't? It would be skillet-fried
COLOR PHOTO: WILLIAM SNYDER