Dean James Max - Higher Education

Once a month, C Magazine sits down with a prominent Columbus figure to discuss how they spend their time out of the office and between paychecks. This month, we met with Latitude 41’s top chef, Dean James Max.

C Magazine: What would you select as your perfect ingredient, should you have to choose only one to cook with forever?
Dean Max: Salt. Most people don’t know how to work with salt. They’re scared of it. But using the right salt at the right time is key to great cooking.

C Magazine: Greatest restaurant in the world is?
Max: I’m still looking. For me, each restaurant is an experience; an experience that captures one great moment in time.

C Magazine:
The most memorable dinner scene in a movie is…?
Max: Babbett’s Feast.

C Magazine: Why choose Columbus for Latitude 41?
Max: Columbus is hip and up-and-coming. There’s a desire here to see and do things that are interesting. Chefs here are handcrafting, and the people here are genuinely interested in handcrafting, and that’s right up my alley.

C Magazine: The key to great service is…?
Max: Giving the customer everything they want and not getting in their way.

C Magazine: The deathblow to a restaurant is…?
Max: Attitude. I see it all over the country, and it only lasts for a short while.

C Magazine: Where do you shop for your jeans in Columbus?
Max: Dr. Mojo.

C Magazine: Last CD you downloaded?
Max: Motor City soundtrack.

C Magazine: Last book you read?
Max: A management book written by a navy captain called My Ship.

C Magazine: What should every diner know about the other side of the table when dining?
Max: Servers are people. Just be nice. They’re not perfect. Don’t end up being the joke of the day, because that’s what you are in a restaurant when you’re rude.

C Magazine: The most difficult thing to do in life is…?
Max: To slow down.
C Magazine: Happiness is…?
Max: Every minute. If you’re not happy every minute, you’re doing something wrong.

C Magazine: What car do you drive?
Max: A ’68 Ford Bronco.

C Magazine: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Max: Laziness.

C Magazine: First dish you learned to make?
Max: Tomato sauce with my mom.