On The Line: Peter Stavros Of Peter's Gourmade Grill, Part One

Categories: On the Line
Photo by Kevin Lara

This week's edition of OTL poses the question: what can one do with 100 square feet of space? Peter Stavros not only created a restaurant kitchen, he did it inside a Valero Gas Station! Gustavo scooped this hidden gem back in November, and now we're back to check in on Peter's Gourmade Grill. Check out how the determined leader feels about food trucks, and how he likes his eggs.

What are six words to describe your food?
The freshest ingredients bound by love.

What are eight words to describe you?
Passionate, creative, leader, dedicated, loyal, funny, charming, determined.

Your best recent food find:

Dave's Signature Spicy Pickle Chips.

Most undervalued ingredient:

Rules of conduct in your kitchen:
Rules of conduct are simple: Head down, shut up and cook.

One food you detest:
"Detest" is not in my culinary vocabulary.

One food you can't live without:
I couldn't live without chocolate. I have the worst sweet tooth imaginable.

Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:

What fast food do you admit to eating?
I'll admit that I'll sporadically find myself at a Del Taco drive-thru.

Bust culinary tip for the home cook:
Stick with the "low and slow" cooking method.

After-work hangout:
My bed. It's sad, I know, but the long hours take a toll on me.

Favorite celebrity chef:
Ummmm. I don't really have a favorite. But I can say I enjoy watching Michael Symon.

Celebrity chef who should shut up:
I don't feel I'm in a position to tell any chef that has the word "celebrity" in front of his name to shut up.

Favorite music to cook by:
There is no music allowed in my kitchen.

Best food city in America:
C'mon, the O.C.

What you'd like to see more of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
More food trucks, 'cause we don't have enough. :)

What you'd like to see less of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
Food critics.

Favorite cookbooks:
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.

When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
I'm shopping for product. Having a restaurant in a gas station means I don't get to have a nice walk-in cooler. I shop, I prep, I sell, and I shop again.

Weirdest thing you've ever seen:
Soup made from a whole lamb's head, eyeballs and all.

You're making breakfast, What are you having?
That's easy. Two fresh eggs just hatched that my uncle brings me every week from his backyard, cooked sunny side up; edges crispy, but egg still runny. Sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, with two slices of almost burnt dry white toast. Fresh squeezed OJ. And that's what I call breakfast of champions.

You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Always buy two avocados.

Weirdest customer request:
I'm not even joking here. ABC burger, cooked raw. That's right. Not rare, he wanted raw. He said he was on a raw food diet, so of course I did it, raw patty and all. I packed it to go. I couldn't watch him eat it.

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