On the Line: Eubaldo Ramirez Of Knott's Berry Farm, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Chicken dinner!

As if he wasn't busy enough, Eubaldo Ramirez was tasked with responding to my seemingly endless list of questions. Well, he tackled it like a pro. Thanks for making time for us!

Catch up on our interview with Eubaldo in yesterday's blog.
Then we wrap things up below.

Where did you grow up? And where do you call home?
I grew up in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico, and now call Corona, California my home.

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On the Line: Eubaldo Ramirez Of Knott's Berry Farm, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Winner! Winner!

Running a restaurant is tough. Try running multiple. Add to that payroll, scheduling, purchasing and cost controls. Roll that all up, and you get Eubaldo Ramirez of Knott's Berry Farm. We gave him some tough questions, but knew he could handle them. Just look at how he spends an average Friday.

You're making breakfast. What are you having?
A good cup of coffee and chilaquiles (eggs and tortillas with red sauce).

What do you find is the toughest thing about maintaining food quality, and how do you solve that concern?
The toughest thing is to thoroughly understand all of the different types of food and their ingredients. We have access to a very wide variety of food products that are all prepared differently, and with different methods at one time. We then must ensure that our staff has proper training for accurate execution, to consistently maintain the highest level of quality.

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On the Line: Jeff "Trail Boss" Killough Of Tri-Tip Man, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
'Que on demand is his specialty

We learn more about the nerd (his word, not ours) who can 'que in today's installment. Copious amounts of pizza, Pandora and pride await you, so let's get crackin'.

We kicked things off Monday with a bunch of food-related inquiries.
You haven't seen it? Well, it's right over here.
Did you know it keeps going below? Now you do.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
I learned that I carried around a lot of pride. I learned this during my basketball playing days, and shattering my Achilles humbled that career in one instant.

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On the Line: Jeff "Trail Boss" Killough Of Tri-Tip Man, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Order The Maverick (minus the Top Gun reference)

When I was in school, I truly believed there wasn't a cure for the summertime blues. That is, unless there was a family barbeque. In every culture, grilling meat brings people together. Sizzling sounds, juicy patties and all that smoke equates to one great afternoon. To include Tri-Tip Man's self-proclaimed "Trail Boss" was a no-brainer.

You own a lot of BBQ equipment. What's your favorite to cook with?
I love a good pellet grill. It is so versatile, and puts just the right amount of smoke flavor. You can "set and forget". No constant monitoring.

What's the one thing people didn't tell you about working in the restaurant industry?
They all tell you it's super hard work. They didn't tell me it's way harder than that! Oh, and that your clothes smell at the end of the day, and should probably be burned.

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On the Line: "Chicken" Charlie Boghosian, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo courtesy Chicken Charlie
Even after fair season, you can still visit the San Diego brick-and-mortar!

Charlie is more than a guy who knows his way around a fryer. He's a businessman and family guy who learned from the best and draws inspiration from his culture. Hospitable, professional and always working, I don't think he knows the meaning of slowing down.

If you're as excited about the OC Fair as we are, then you should really catch up on Charlie's interview, because it began yesterday.
Now, are you ready for part two? Good.

Who taught you how to cook?
My mom. I was about 7 when I started to learn from her. The first thing I ever fried was an eggplant in her kitchen.

What is your cultural/ethnic background, and how did that influence the menu?
I'm Armenian/Middle Eastern. That influence is in a lot of my inventions. Our Zucchini Weeni was modeled after a very popular Armenian dish where you stuff vegetables with rice and meat, and cook it in tomato sauce. Many items carry over in interesting ways like that.

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OC Fair

On the Line: "Chicken" Charlie Boghosian, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Anne Marie Panoringan
Are you ready for deep fried Slimfast?

Mid-July can only mean one thing: Fair season! And what better way to kick things off than with the gregarious ways of Charlie Boghosian (a.k.a Chicken Charlie). While you may know him best for deep fried deliciousness, I'm gonna level with you. Some of his tastiest items aren't even fried. The chicken kebobs and hummus plate is amazeballs, and there's something about a teriyaki chicken bowl served in half a pineapple that sings to me. But without further ado, we give you Charlie.

What is your favorite deep fried item to eat? And what is your least favorite?
My favorite to eat is deep fried Oreos. It was my first invention, and it's amazing. When you dip it in pancake batter and you fry it, the cookie gets chewy and gooey, kind of like a hot fudge brownie sundae. The combination of the pancake and that cookie is just phenomenal. It's one of those things you just have to eat to see.

My least favorite item-- One time I invented the Kookie Cookie sandwich: two chocolate chip cookies with cream cheese and raspberry sauce. It wasn't deep fried, and maybe that was the problem.

Most undervalued ingredient:
Seasonings are the secret ingredient. When you're cooking, you get to use a lot of seasonings, and that's how you show your greatness as a cook. You can take people to different countries with how you use those seasonings.

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On the Line: Dan Smith of Out of the Park Pizza, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Happiness is serving your favorite food and drink.

Dan is a business owner. A business owner who happens to run a pizza joint with excellent beer options. Part of me thinks he's living the dream. See what he has to say in his second installment, and decide for yourself.

Our interview began yesterday. Why don't you catch up over here?

Hardest lesson you've learned:
That you can't make everyone happy, and not to take posts by trolls on the internet personally.

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On the Line: Dan Smith of Out of the Park Pizza, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
We'll have the Chuck Norris!

With summer season upon us, I thought it was only fitting to go for those foods that bring party people together. Yeah, I know: Pizza is a year-round thing. But when you've got a quality lineup of brews to go with 'em, you're golden in our book. We check in with Dan Smith, owner of a duo of pie-'n'-beer spots known as Out of the Park Pizza.

Tell us about how you opened your first location. What prompted you to do a pizza joint with a focus on craft beer?
Before we opened the pizza place, I actually hated beer. But I Googled what's going up in a down economy, and craft beer came up as the No. 1 search. So I looked up local craft breweries, and the Bruery came up. I went down and tried the Filthy Blonde, the Dirty Redhead and Orchard White. I instantly fell in love. I sat down and talked to [senior director of brewing operations] Tyler [King] and [founder] Patrick [Rue], and I knew that craft beer was definitely on the rise. And me being me, I had to have more taps than anybody else in town, so 33 became our magic number.

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On the Line: David Rossi Of THE RANCH, Part Two

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
David of all trades

Baseball. Band. Brothers. Maybe you know how these all relate to David Rossi. And if you don't, that's what part two is for.

Do you know what his favorite dessert is? If you read part one, you would.
And after you can answer that question, it's time to learn some more.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
To not take everything so personal.

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On the Line: David Rossi Of THE RANCH, Part One

Categories: On the Line

Photo by LP Hastings
Pass the vinegar

When I made THE RANCH part of my Top 5 in 2012, it earned a spot for many reasons; one of them being the incredible duo of the brothers Rossi. This week, I'm excited to communicate with pastry chef David Rossi. While he is labeled as "pastry", you're about to quickly learn that he's much more.

When I interviewed your brother, he made a point of saying that you do more than pastry at THE RANCH. Could you please elaborate on your responsibilities?
I oversee all of the smoking, curing, canning and pickling all our produce from our own heirloom vegetable farm on Edwards Ranch Estates.

Best culinary tip for the home baker.
Follow the recipe.

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