Some of the Greatest Chefs in the World are found in Orange County, California.

Mar Y Tierra Grilled petite filet mignon, bacon wrapped shrimp, tartar, pico de gallo, avocado, pinto bean salad, crispy potatoes

What food is your guilty pleasure?
Potato chips

Is there a food you can’t bring yourself to eat?
Balut.

Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home?
Scrambled eggs and avocado tacos.

Your worst kitchen nightmare?
Complete kitchen walk out.

Best cooking tip for a novice?
Put your head down and work clean.

What’s your last meal on earth?
Chicken wings and chilaquiles.

Give us one reason why Orange County’s food scene rocks.
Orange county rocks because it is up and coming and wants to step out of the shadow.

What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when cooking?
90s hip hop.

If you could cook for anyone who would it be?
I think it would be fun to cook for Shaq. I’m an old Lakers fan and he just seems like a great guy.

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a customer?
No salt on anything.

What’s the best part about being a chef?
Being able to express myself through food.

What’s the most challenging part of being a chef?
Keeping your entire staff happy.

Restaurant: Playa Mesa  |  Restaurant Website

Aguachile Raw scallops, lime, serrano, avocado, olive oil

What is your first food memory?
Eating bowls of rice chicken feet soup at one of my Dads restaurants. Something you don’t forget. It was delicious.  

Did you grow up in a cooking family?
Yes, I was surrounded on both sides of my family. My Aunts are all great cooks but especially my mother.

Who has influenced your cooking the most?
My Mother and Father are my biggest influences.

Why did you become a chef?
Cooking brings me great pleasure. Being able to change a person’s mood with one bite is very special.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I used to want to be a police officer and an architect.

If I weren’t a chef, I’d be:
A dog trainer. I love dogs.

Who are your favorite chefs?
I support all chefs who cook from the heart.

Which seasonings don’t you respect?
Truffle oil.

Which spices are underrated?
Fresh bay leaf and Hoja Santa are underrated to me.

Are there any culinary trends you like right now?
I would say farm to table 2.0. Working more with local farms, including smaller neighborhood farming. Taking local development of farming a step closer, while moving the needle on sustainability a step further.

Any trends you consider overrated?
Truffle fries.

What do you think is the next worthwhile food/dining trend?
I think farm to table 2.0.