Ross Pangilinan of Leatherby's Café Rouge, Part Two

Categories: On the Line
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Photo by Mary Bell

Today we continue our Q&A with Ross Pangilinan, the Executive Chef at Leatherby's Café Rouge in Costa Mesa. As promised this is the part of the interview where we get a little more personal with him.

If you missed the first part, click here. And stay tuned tomorrow for a recipe.

What show would you pitch to the Food Network?
I would pitch myself. They could call it In the Weeds and they could put me in a super-fine dining, high volume restaurant and film me work. I don't have a TV personality but I get intense in the kitchen. That could be fun.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten:
I have eaten a lot of weird things but the weirdest would probably be one-day-old deep fried whole chickens. Three on a skewer, each chicken is the size of a thumb, in the Philippines, with a little vinegar.

You're making an omelet. What's in it?
MyI wouldn't do anything too crazy, but in my omelet is a chicken fried steak with gravy.

You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Two bottles of wine.

Weirdest customer request:
It's the guests that have that phobia that they need all of their food not touching each other.

Favorite OC restaurant(s) other than your own:
My favorite OC restaurant is definitely my old chef mentor Florent Marneau's Marche Moderné--he's probably the best chef in the OC.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
You can't do everything by yourself, you need to invest lots of time into your crew.

What would the last meal on Earth be?
That's another hard question, but probably something deep fried like crispy pata (pork leg) or salt and pepper pork Chinese style. Or maybe a good Peking duck. Or a whole roasted lechon (whole pig).

Who's your hero? Culinary or otherwise?
Captain Paul Watson and the Steve Irwin--they save whales man!

If you weren't a chef, what would you second career choice be?
Probably something in the skateboard industry. I grew up skating a lot. I had sponsors and skated in competitions. It was a lot of fun.

What advice do you have for those that might be thinking about a career in food?
To read that book Letters To a Young Chef by Daniel Boulud because it the real deal.

Location Info

Leatherby's Cafe Rouge

615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA

Category: Restaurant

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