Craig Connole of House Of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer, Part One

Craig Connole of House Of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer, Part One
Photo by Tracy Powell 

House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer has managed to achieve the seemingly impossible: affordable seafood in Laguna Beach. And it does it with that tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek name that's as fun to say as it probably took them to make up.

The chef and part owner behind the almost-anti-competitive seafood meals is our featured chef for this week, Chef Craig Connole.

Enjoy this, the first part of our Q&A with him. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow, then a recipe on the third day, where the man shares a recipe.

What are six words to describe your food?

Comfort, healthy, tasty, simple, value, quality.

What are ten words to describe you?

Happy, casual, fun, loud, family, sports, music, food, work, friends.

Your best recent food find:

Lobster rolls.

Most undervalued ingredient:

Montreal steak seasoning.

Rules of conduct in your kitchens:

Follow the recipe, taste the food.

One food you detest:

Pea soup.

One food you can't live without:


What fast food is your least favorite?


Best culinary tip for the home cook.

Don't forget to season.

After-work hangout:

My house.

If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Jimmy Page.

Favorite celebrity chef.

Paula Dean.

Celebrity chef who should shut up:

Rachel Ray.

What's next for you?

Hot dog cart.

Proudest moment as a chef/restaurant owner:

Having dinner with George Lynch and his wife at my restaurant, K'ya.

Favorite music to cook by:

Rock and roll.

Best food city in America:

San Francisco.

Favorite restaurant in America:

AOC in L.A.

House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer, 540 S. Coast Hwy., Ste. 200, Laguna Beach, (949) 715-4500; Open daily, 4:30-10:30 p.m. Entrées, $5-$24. Full bar.

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House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer

540 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651


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