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?
Chef,  Cafe Chloe, http://www.cafechloe.com/
Work: East Village
Work: East Village
What kinds of meals do you cook at home? Is it more often a serious meal, something simple, or out of a box?
I love to cook at home! I do a lot of cooking from scratch – I love to get fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market and then cook a meal based on them. Right now, I’m having fun making my own baby food, and steaming up a couple new veggies every week. I gave my baby fava beans this week! And recently, I was on a baking kick where I made my own galette dough and tart dough and quiches. But I also love fake meat, believe it or not. And of course, I occasionally get something like a frozen pizza.
When you’re out of the kitchen, where do you like to dine out? Any favorites?
Dining out is the best! Farm House Cafe, Starlite, Blind Lady Ale House, Searsucker and Cucina Urbana are some favorites. For cheap eats: El Camino, Burger Lounge (their salad is to die for, as well as their veggie burger), Ranchos (veggie mexican!), Evolution (veggie fast food), Fish Market, or any Thai or Indian place.
Where do you go for a drink?
I’m not a big drinker, I don’t go to a lot of bars anymore. But it’s fun drinking at Starlite. I love the beer selection at Blind Lady, Newport Pizza and Toronado. Local craft beers are the best! Green Flash’sTrippel and Le Freak are my favorites.
What would you do if you had a chunk of time off and it wasn’t a holiday?
For an ideal weekend or vacation, I would have to start it with a wonderful brunch. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I love good coffee and breakfast cocktails. I love making brunch, going to friends’ houses for brunch or going out to places like Farm House. Usually I’m working our busy brunch, so it’s a real treat to go to someone else’s. Then I would maybe stroll around Balboa Park, go to a museum. My guy and I love to do what we call a cheese happy hour, either having a cheese plate and wine at a restaurant somewhere, or making one at home. We go to Venissimo and buy a bunch of cheeses and toast a baguette, pull out jams and compotes and some wine, and spend the afternoon on our deck. But usually if we are on vacation, we don’t just staycation, we love to travel. So, that is what I ideally would be doing with some free time.
What made you decide to become a chef?
When I was in high school, I used to always get a “caprese sandwich” with my friends at this cafe in L.A. where I grew up. I decided I wanted to work there as my first job, and got a serving job there. It was the only job I even thought about getting. In college, I would spend more time making elaborate recipes than studying. But even though I continued to work in restaurants, I didn’t think about culinary work. I worked in my field, art history, at a gallery in La Jolla, and cocktailed on the side. Then finally, a friend pushed me to figure out my next move: Was I going to pursue art or stay in the restaurant industry? So I decided to move to the kitchen and entered culinary school. That was ten years ago. And here I am now.