On the Line: Julio Hawkins Of Fly N Fish Oyster Bar And Grill, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

photo by the lovely LP Hastings
All smiles

Fly N Fish's storyteller keeps me entertained as I wrap up our chef interview. Julio's interests and talents are as varied as ice cream flavors in a liquid nitrogen shop.

To catch up on all things Julio Hawkins, start the interview by clicking here.
Then you'll be good to continue.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
Assuming prep was getting done prior to a large event, and then finding out it didn't get done moments before the event. CHAOS!! So I live by this creed, "You get what you inspect, not what you expect."

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On the Line: Julio Hawkins Of Fly N Fish Oyster Bar And Grill, Part One

Categories: On the Line

photo by the talented LP Hastings
Looking for inspiration

If there's one thing chefs like to discuss, it's food. Fortunately, that's one of my favorite topics. Hanging out with Julio Hawkins reminds me that there's always more to learn from a certain dish. He's taken some of our favorite seafood meals and tailored them to his tastes. The results: unexpected depth and a newfound appreciation for some of the classics.

Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Mise en place, Mise en place, Mise en place. Translation = everything in its place, both mentally and physically. That's why so many home cooks freak out when trying to execute Thanksgiving dinner. You've got to be organized to truly enjoy the holiday season. Get your shopping list together (mental) and then execute the prep (physical).

You are an advocate for sustainable seafood. Please elaborate on where you source some of your dishes from.
We source most of our seafood through Santa Monica Seafood, which in turn works with the Monterey Bay Fish Aquarium to ensure we are in compliance with the World Fisheries fishing practices.

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On the Line: Tauseef Razaque Of Scoops N Scoops, Part Two

Photo by LP Hastings
Next generation entrepreneurs

Yesterday was all about the business, according to Scoops N Scoops co-owner Tauseef Razaque. Today we shift our focus to learn what makes him tick.

Don't get left behind! You can catch up on part one right over here.
Our conversation with Tauseef continues below.

How did you all meet?
Abdullah and I are actually related; he is my brother-in-law, and Adam has been Abdullah's best friend since childhood.

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On the Line: Tauseef Razaque Of Scoops N Scoops, Part One

Photo by LP Hastings
Tauseef, Abdullah and Adam keeping their cool

The sweltering days of summer may finally be showing signs of cooling down, but our readership is always in the mood for something sweet. So I stopped by one of the newest dessert spots for a little refreshment. The Scoops N Scoops management team consists of Adam Houri, Abdullah Jafey and Tauseef Razaque, but Tauseef took the lead in participating in our interview.

How much fun (or not?) did you have coming up with all those iconic creations?
It's a blast coming up with the creations! We're like mad scientists with all of our flavorings: pouring different things, cutting up different things and pouring them into bowls. Just using our imagination, and then there's vapor from the nitrogen everywhere as we anticipate what it's going to turn out like when it's frozen! It's a lot of fun, and we get to be very creative with it.

Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
The best variety and collection of food from all over the world.

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On the Line: Karl Pfleider Of The Blind Pig, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Local boy

The Blind Pig team is on the verge of launching their second location of Trough Sandwich Kitchen. While we wait for that to happen, Chef Karl Pfleider gladly responded to our remaining inquiries.

Our line of questioning began yesterday, in case you're wondering.
If you can keep up with us, be sure to check out the conclusion below.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
Perseverance pays off, even when it means working for free for a few years. I didn't give up, even when I was broke and my fingers were numb from picking parsley. I was like a sponge and soaked up every ounce of experience I could before landing my dream job.

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On the Line: Karl Pfleider Of The Blind Pig, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Blind, no; Pig fan, yes.

Back in June, Edwin wrote about the second location being built for The Trough Sandwich Kitchen in Newport Beach. The Trough is from the same group that launched The Blind Pig in Rancho Santa Margarita. Since successful South County concepts are tough to come by, it was about time I learned more about the man in the kitchen.

Where does the restaurant's name come from?
It was one of few code names for places to drink during the Prohibition Era. You could only drink at a speakeasy, and we're striving to evoke a similar vibe. We want guests to come as they are, and eat and drink to their heart's content.

One stereotype about your industry, and whether it's true.
It requires a lot of late nights. Yes, it definitely does.

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On the Line: Josh Severson Of Selanne Steak Tavern, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo courtesy Selanne Steak Tavern
Wine and dine

If there was one thing I took away from my interview with Josh, it was that he would rather be busy than at rest. Don't believe me? Well, that's what part two is for.

Remember that our interviews always begin the day before.
Sit down with a cool beverage before finishing with part two. You'll be glad you did.

When you're not in the kitchen, what are you doing in your free time?
So that's how you spell free time? I try to spend time with my boys, teaching them the ropes of life and occasionally showing them how to break down a bluefin or make fresh pasta. I love spending my personal time on the water - wakeboarding, surfing, kiteboarding. For me, it's very calming.

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On the Line: Josh Severson Of Selanne Steak Tavern, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo courtesy Selanne Steak Tavern
Josh and Teemu cooking up a storm

Teaming up chefs with athletes isn't common occurrence unless we're referring to charity events. Yet the pairing of Josh Severson with Teemu Selanne is one winning combination, as they elevate the dining scene in Laguna Beach. Get to know the Greystone graduate today, and stay turned for more on Tuesday.

What kind of influence did Selanne have on the menu and operation?
Initially, Teemu wanted a more casual tavern-style setting. But as we moved forward with the redo, we learned the community was more interested in a mainstream steakhouse. So, we made adjustments on our end and pushed it into a more high-end steakhouse setting. I always ask both Teemu and his wife, Sirpa, if they would like me to feature any Finnish dishes on the menu. Teemu just seems to love his steaks and reindeer sausages.

You're making breakfast. What are you having?
Eggs Benedict on a fresh croissant, with Nueske's Canadian bacon, avocado, and poached duck eggs.

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On the Line: Brent Omeste of CUCINA Enoteca, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
AKA really cool dad

Today's installment provides one of my favorite answers in a questionnaire. Before you wonder which response, it's the first one below. Learn a bit more about Brent outside of the kitchen.

CUCINA Enoteca takes care of their restaurant family, and Brent can attest to that. Hear what he has to say about this in part one.

Tell us about your daughter, and what it's like being a dad.
My daughter is amazing. Being a dad is amazing. That's coming from a guy who wasn't sure about having a child in the past. It gives a whole new meaning to life. It's incredible watching her grow into the toddler stage. She's becoming so aware; she has so much personality, just sweet as can be. Last week she reached out and gave me a hug and a kiss for the first time. I melted. She's going to be so spoiled.

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On the Line: Brent Omeste of CUCINA Enoteca, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Keeping things afloat in Newport

Updating the restaurant scene at Fashion Island wasn't a task taken lightly. Management cleaned house of older brands, making way for modern concepts such as CUCINA Enoteca. Their second location in Orange County, I questioned Brent Omeste about his CUCINA past and present.

Ok, Brent. You left CUCINA Irvine to pursue other opportunities. Then you came back to helm Newport. What brought you back (when you could've continued working at different establishments)?
When I was invited to come back and helm Newport, I was flattered first, that I had even been considered for the position; then excited to get back to work in an environment where food, wine, culture, and creativity come together so harmoniously.

One food you can't live without:
Pasta. Fresh, dried, egg, extruded, filled. Any way, shape or form.

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