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Kitchen Takeover: Animal House

By MarcusSamuelsson.com | July 9, 2012

Fried chicken sandwich with pickle slaw from Son of a Gun

Pay attention to the folks you meet in college–they may just be your next kindred spirit and business partner. The tasteful team of Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo comprise this very template, friends turned culinary entrepreneurs who have risen to great acclaim in a short time span.  Since leaving the kitchens of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, they are the creative innovators behind the slightly more turf Animal Restaurant and definitely more surf Son of a Gun, garnering such prestigious awards as the Best Food and Wine Chefs of 2009, two James Beard nominations, Rising Star Chefs and Wine List of the Year by GQ Magazine.

Vinny Dotolo

Jon Shook

Shook and Dotolo have undeniably imprinted their culinary stamp on Baja California, yet despite their accolades they continue to harbor down-to-earth tastes; munching on cheeseburgers as their favorite after-hours meal and showcasing the staff’s baby pictures on their website. When pressed for their own favorite eateries, they head to Matsuhisa Restaurant for quality Japanese or Mozza for fine Italian dining and pizza. A culinary trifecta is on the horizon for this evening, as Marcus joins Shook, Dotolo and an intimate crowd of very lucky diners at Son of a Gun to demonstrate and share recipes inspired from Yes, Chef so be sure to stay tuned for behind-the-scenes updates on Twitter (@MarcusCooks) complete with plenty of pictures.

If a visit to star-studded LA visit isn’t in the immediate future, the Sons have graced us with the secret to their Lobster Roll recipe.

Photos: Vinny Dotolo, Jon Shook and KayOne73

Want to see the Animal boys take over Food Republic’s Instagram? Click here for a peek.

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