On The Line: Kerri Cacciata Minton Of The Yost Theater, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

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Photo by Amanda DeFrancis

If you haven't noticed, male chefs outnumber females. It's the exact opposite of a boy band concert. So call us a little biased when we get to strike up a conversation with another lady. Figuratively, Kerri has a great deal on her plate-- especially her plans to start up a farmers market in Santa Ana. And we can't wait for everything to fall into place.

Read our interview with Kerri Cacciata Minton of The Yost Theater, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two . . .

What's your favorite childhood memory?
It's a silly moment, but it sticks with me. I was never around cats much as a child, but my cousin had one. I remember sitting on the front porch of my grandma's house, sharing my ice cream with the cat. I was so pleased that I was able to engage it. Needless to say, my mom was less than thrilled. Which makes sense, considering we were sharing the same ice cream cone.

When you're not cooking in the kitchen, what are you doing?
Chasing chickens out of my house. They are sneaky ladies, and love to get inside.

How many pets do you have?
Two dogs, two cats and three sassy hens. Apparently, seven animals is exactly how many it takes to forget everyone's name.

Are you superstitious?
Just the opposite. I believe in science. My husband is superstitious enough for the both of us.

What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
Probably living less like a vampire. I'd be sleeping normal human hours and spending holidays with my family.

Wait, were you a senior loan processor for over five years?
Right?! It was actually for seven years, and it feels like a lifetime ago. I grew up in restaurants since my mom and step dad both ran them. Naturally, I followed suit. After juggling a million restaurant jobs, I decided to get one job behind a desk. I fell into mortgage banking, which was easy to do in 2003 in Orange County. After seven years, the challenge and fun faded and I ran straight back to the food industry. I learned some invaluable lessons there, though. The organization and insane attention to detail I honed make me a better chef today.

What is a degree in Community Organizing?
I went to CIIS in San Francisco, which you could safely call a hippy school. It took the holistic mind, body and spirit approach to higher education. No letter grades, and lots of personal reflection and critical thinking. It's actually a liberal arts degree, but I spent my time focusing on my role in the community, and how to organize, participate and be an advocate for positive change.

We read you're a member of Fullerton's Community Development Citizen's Committee. What does that entail?
I'm actually on two advisory committees for the city of Fullerton. As a member of the Community Development Citizen's Committee, I help provide council with direction on how to distribute HUD funding to non-profits and city programs.

I'm also on the Downtown Core and Corridors Advisory Committee, which is working off a state grant to study how the city should develop its main corridors and surrounding neighborhoods. We engage a cross section of the community on what is important to them-- historic signage, native landscaping, bike lanes, etc.

Last book read; how was it?
I just re-read Grassroots Post-Modernism by Gustavo Esteva and Madhu Suri Prakash. That one just keeps getting better. It addresses the frightening nature of globalization and the importance of local and community based food, services, heritage and tradition. It basically reinforces the idea that it takes a village.

Last thing you searched online:
I'm in the market for a new hammock. I like to do my days off right.

Last song playing on your radio:
I bounce between Howard Stern and NPR. As far as music goes, Black Sabbath never gets old. Everyone in my kitchen will attest to that. I'm stoked to hear the new album in full, and from what I've heard, it shouldn't disappoint.

Do you have any skills that are non-food related?
I'm a decent seamstress and can play a mean game of dominoes. Wait, is sass a skill?

Hardest lesson you've learned:
As important as intention is, it only takes you so far. Action and momentum are key. Sounds simple, but it's true.

Is there anything you'd like readers to know that we haven't already asked?
That I like them.


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Location Info

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The Yost Theater

307 N. Spurgeon St., Santa Ana, CA

Category: Music


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