dave.jpgBefore becoming the Food Network's youngest host ever, Dave Lieberman hosted a cooking show and ran a catering business while he was a student at Yale. After being discovered and launched into the public eye by Amanda Hesser during his senior year, Lieberman published his first cookbook, Young and Hungry: More Than 100 Recipes for Cooking Fresh and Affordable Food for Everyone. He then went on to host Good Deal with Dave Lieberman, and now hosts two web-only shows, Dave Does and Eat This. He is also a private chef for individual and corporate clients. In this capacity he recently created a menu for the W hotel chain, "Cravings by Dave Lieberman," inspired by some of the existing and upcoming global W properties.

So you designed a menu for the W Hotel chain that was inspired by several of their locations – did you get to travel? Yes. I’ve been to a lot of their properties and stayed at a lot of W’s now, having this relationship, but since I started developing the menu I’ve been to Chicago, San Diego and some other places. We’ve developed a menu for in-room dining, the lounge and bar. It’s still kind of like comfort food, but it’s a little bit more global to reflect the global nature of the W.

If you were to pick a travel destination based on food, where would you go? I’d really like to go to Asia or India. I’ve been to Asia, but I’d like to go to India, since I've never been. There are so many great places to travel and everywhere you go there’s something interesting. I’d like to visit the Moroccan W, which is in Marakesh.

Your first Food Network show was focused on budget-conscious cooking. As a New Yorker, are there certain places you like to shop or eat that are more budget-conscious? I think Fairway is a really good place to go for fair prices. Hence the name, right? Other than that, Chinatown – a lot of good values there. After that, not so much.

What are three pantry items that everyone should have in their pantry, no matter what? I would say canned tomatoes, pasta, and Hellman’s mayonnaise.

You’ve lived in New York and L.A. – which has the better food? Oh, New York, hands down.

What do we have that L.A. doesn’t have? Everything. Although I will say, the sushi in L.A. is better.

Fair enough. You’re considered a heartthrob to many – how do you feel about that? It hasn’t really worked in my favor, I have to say. If there are any benefits, I haven’t experienced them.

Mets or Yankees? Yankees. I used to be Derek Jeter’s private chef.

Then that makes sense. What are some of your favorite places to eat in New York? Le Bernardin, Lupa, and Blue Ribbon -- it's good and open till 4 a.m.!

Photo by Lucy Schaeffer