Some of the Greatest Chefs in the World are found in Orange County, California.
What is your first food memory?
My Dad bringing live blue crabs home from China Town when we lived in New York when I was 3 or 4 years old. I remember them crawling out of the basket and falling on the kitchen floor. My grandpa would steam them and they taught us how to break them open and eat them with our hands.
Did you grow up in a cooking family?
My grandparents on my dads side lived with us growing up and cooked everyday. We ate a lot filipino food. My favorite dishes they made were chicken adobo, fried fish and baked pork chops.
Who has influenced your cooking the most?
Working with Theo Schonegger at Patina Restaurant and Sinatra at the Encore.
Why did you become a chef?
I love cooking, making things out of raw ingredients and people being able to enjoy them with their eyes, with scent and taste.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a chef and own restaurants.
If I weren’t a chef, I’d be: A lawyer or businessman.
Who are your favorite chefs? Jose Andreas / Joel Robuchon
Which seasonings don’t you respect? I hate ketchup.
Which spices are underrated? Cumin
Are there any culinary trends you like right now? Middle Eastern Food
Any trends you consider overrated? Gourmet Burgers
What do you think is the next worthwhile food/dining trend? Tasting menus
What food is your guilty pleasure? Lechon kawali
Chef Ross Pangilinan
Restaurant: Mix Mix Kitchen Bar / Terrace by Mix Mix | Restaurant Website
Is there a food you can’t bring yourself to eat? Balut
Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home? Peanut butter and banana sandwich
Your worst kitchen nightmare?
Your walkin going down over night with the days prep and you have a big event.
Best cooking tip for a novice?
Taste, season and adjust. Control temperature.
What’s your last meal on earth? A lot of Uni sushi.
Give us one reason why Orange County’s food scene rocks.
I have met a lot of down to earth chef’s in OC, I met a lot of cocky ones in LA.
What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when cooking? Biggy Smalls
If you could cook for anyone who would it be? My Dad, Grandpa and Grandma.
What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a customer?
Someone who called the restaurant and said they had a horrible experience and want a limo to pick them up and have a free dinner or they will leave a negative review on yelp.
What’s the best part about being a chef?
When the restaurant is busy, the food is coming out of the kitchen on time and looking great. You walk into the dining room and the guest are happy and having a great time, and the moment you realize this is something you created.
What’s the most challenging part of being a chef?
When you have a lot of ready to go product and staff and the dining room is empty.
Anything you’d like to share with the readers? Support your local independent restaurants!
Just for fun, what is your favorite color? Has always been green.