Each month, we ask one of San Diego's chefs:
What do you do and how do you eat when you're out of the kitchen?
Live: South Park
Work: South Park
How Long: 2 years
What kinds of meals do you eat at home?
My favorite meals to cook at home are holiday feasts, like thanksgiving and Christmas. They’re comforting and nostalgic. I love roasting seitan with port wine jus, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings.
When you’re out of the kitchen, where do you like to dine out? Any favorites?Amoracito Corazon is hands down my favorite. The food is amazing and the family that owns it always make you feel at home. I also frequent Tiger, Tiger, Bahn Thai and Pop Pie Co.
Where do you go for a drink?
Although I love getting a cocktail at Polite Provisions or a beer at Modern Times, it’s rare for me to go out boozing these days. Coffee is my true vice. Luckily our neighborhood is full of great places for any mood, Rebecca’s oozes warmth, Grant’s is fast and consistent, Dark Horse has exceptional beans and baristas.
How do you like to spend your days off?
I’m spending time with my seven month old son, Roux. Cooking for him is my greatest joy. Veggie mashes, pancakes, and of course pasta are favorites. Despite thirteen years in the kitchen, I think he still enjoys my wife’s food more!
What made you decide to become a chef?
I started as a dishwasher and on day one I realized what a thrilling place the professional kitchen was. It was me versus the servers, churning out clean dishes as fast as possible appealed to my competitive nature. Within a few days I was the fastest dishwasher they had. On my first day the Sous Chef asked me what he could make me for lunch, offering anything off the menu: burgers, pasta, salad, etc. Sheepishly I asked if I could have French fries. He laughed and said yes. That sealed the deal, the job was fun and exciting and free French fries were involved. I was hooked.
What is your favorite thing about the San Diego culinary scene?
The best thing about the culinary scene here is its growth and potential. It still feels undiscovered, and there’s impressive new businesses opening constantly. I like how unpretentious it is. San Diego is moving away from stuffy old fashioned dining and newer places are fun, welcoming, and innovative, and the food, beverages and service are high quality.
What kind of change do you hope to see?
It’s already happening to a degree but I would love to continue to see emerging neighborhoods becoming culinary hot spots. When top restaurants open outside of Downtown, Little Italy and Gaslamp, that’s progress in my mind.