On The Line: Kyle Owens of Allspice Eats, Part One
It's one thing to have a passion for something, and another to pursue it. Kyle Owens took a risk when he chose to start his own service, cooking and delivering Paleo-friendly meals to clients in CrossFit gyms. Creating flavorful meals that are healthy isn't an easy task. Yet Kyle takes on this challenge with gusto, utilizing fresh vegetables and meats.
This week's interview features a chef who works their magic out of The Hood Kitchen in Costa Mesa, a certified commercial kitchen space that allows individuals like Kyle the opportunity to pursue their passion.
Most undervalued ingredient:
Avocados are extremely versatile. Beyond guacamole, they can be used to create dressings, sauces, even a healthier chocolate mousse.
What cultures do your meals encompass?
I use Southern, Latin and Italian, to name a few. I create meals that have made a real impact on me, whether while I was growing up, or in recent years.
What is featured on the menu this season?
Pumpkin. Right now, they're all around us. I'll be doing a Paleo pumpkin muffin with honey butter and a pumpkin soup with fresh herbs and pine nuts or pepitas.
Can you define Paleo cuisine?
I adhere to the principles of Paleo cuisine. I use high quality meats, poultry and fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts. I avoid grains, legumes, dairy and refined flours and sugars.
Where was your most recent meal?
My mother-in-law's Ecuadorian ceviche with white popcorn. . . so good!
Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Taste each component of your meal in your mind first, and then create it in the kitchen; know ahead of time the flavors that you are striving to achieve.
What did your catering experience teach you?
Proper planning promotes good execution.
Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
Garlic noodles from AnQi.
What is your beverage of choice?
C2O coconut water from Sprouts.
One food you can't live without.
Crab. It has such a great natural taste. A little bit of lemon is all I need.
Emeril Lagasse. The types of food he creates and the manner in which he does it reminds me of the food that I grew up with.
Favorite meal growing up:
Seafood gumbo. A family friend from Texas used to make this. When I started dabbling in cooking, he taught me how to make it. I put my own personal touches on it. For example, I don't use lard or butter when making my roux, I just brown my flour.
Your best recent food find.
Pork shank from a little Italian restaurant in Cabo called Salvatore's. It was seasoned to perfection, and the meat fell off of the bone. It was heaven.
What is your production and delivery schedule?
I prepare and cook meals on Monday and Wednesday and deliver them on Tuesday and Thursday.
Let's go over pricing and discounts.
A single meal is $12. The more you buy, the better discount you'll receive. Purchase 8-15 meals and get 10% off. Purchase 16 meals and above and receive 15% off. There are also subscription plans to choose from, where you can receive additional meals with participation.
Lastly, I offer what is called Pure Protein. This is the main dish without the side. A single order is $6.75 and double order is $10.95.
Favorite places to eat.
Pier 72 in Long Beach, Joe's Restaurant in Venice and Eva's Caribbean Kitchen in Laguna.
Your earliest food memory.
Eating Maryland crabs spread out on newspaper in the backyard of close family friends at about age three in New York.
For more information regarding Allspice Eats, check out www.allspiceeats.com.