Robbie Hojilla made 1 dish a week for 7 days at the Food Network kitchen, and it inspired his favorite meal

Robbie Hojilla is one of seven food pros whizzing around roost with this week’s Food & Dining player. They’re working behind the big (and bigger) tables at the new BBs Diner, where guests take part in the foodmaking via kiosks so quick service speed and quality are paramount.

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When he gets hungry, Hojilla usually searches the shelves at the grocery store and froths down whatever’s in his cart. The first thing he tries is a plain old Thai peanut sauce. “It’s a great condiment to make whatever you want with,” he says. “I’m always trying out different flavors and that’s my food first.” His favorite dishes to make are pho, pad Thai, and wok-cooked green curry. “A quick pan-fry is good or poached fish. I really like to eat well. I really enjoy good tasting food and quality.”

BBs Diner chefs, along with 15 other catering chefs and semi-pro chefs who work for them at BBs, made at least one new dish each week on air. Some don’t shy away from trendiness. “I made something that’s really spicy — you want to know that you’re not going to break an artery,” Hojilla says of his Chicken Confit with Lobster Sauce. “I used Sriracha sauce.”

What can you find in your kitchen right now?

Before making any food, I like to have a hand dryer in the kitchen or at least my house so I can totally self-treat. I like to check out what’s in some stuff. I have avocado oil. I have a coconut vinegar that I use with curry powder. I put in ginger oil. I can’t pick just one!

What’s the one item in your kitchen you rarely leave home without?

Probably my bathrobe. My boyfriend is just obsessed with me wearing my bathrobe.

How do you prepare your food?

I have a blender and I like to make cool sauces, so that’s pretty much what I do. I always make the curries, or let’s say a Vietnamese spring roll.

In your free time, what is your guilty pleasure?

The movie Frozen. It’s probably probably like one of my first movies I’ve seen. But I think I’m obsessed with movies with princesses in them.

How do you cook for crowds?

When I’m on TV, I’m really well coordinated and I know what I want to cook. I really like to cook a simple bowl of something. So if people come in for a small bowl of curry, I’m happy. If I can make something for the small crowd of people I’m happy with.

Describe the first dish you made on Food Network Kitchen.

The first plate we made was a bowl of curry with pan-fried wild rice and baked baby carrots, so it was really delicious. It was nice and really stir-fried. The broccoli was nice. We cooked it a little bit higher up so it could go really well. The chicken with the oven roasted peppers was super quick and really good. I really enjoyed making it because I had so much fun.

Favorite dish at BBs Diner so far?

The tamarind coconut mushroom ravioli, it’s like an Indian take on pasta. It’s made with squash, morels, mushroom, onion, and garlic.

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