My friend, Chef Joe Youkhan, was on a show on ABC last year, called The Taste. Although, he didn’t make it through the first cut, I was enthralled with the concept of professional chefs and home cooks competing for the same prize with a mere spoonful of “Taste”. The judges on the show were Chef Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Chef Ludo Lefebvre and Chef Brian Malarkey. Chef Brian had a vibrance to him – fun, energetic, and a love of food. I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Brian at the 2013 LA Food & Wine Festival and actually got to taste his creation of Lamb Tartar. Even in person, he was very personable and you could see his love of food, wearing like a badge of honor on his chef coat. His creations make you “eat with your eyes”. It’s not about the fanciful dots of sauce on the plate or the perfect placement of each grain of rice. It all comes down to the taste. Not that his food isn’t pretty to look at, it’s that so much emphasis was placed on presentation over the years, people forgot what really great food tastes like. As the Season 3 Top Chef Finalist, Chef Brian rose to celebrity chef status and with his restaurant group, Enlightening Hospitality, he has developed a fan following in San Diego and Los Angeles. Come Early, Stay Late pays homage to his restaurants by giving each a chapter in the book to showcase some of their favorite recipes.