Hidden in the bottom floor of a beautiful old building on the edge of Downtown Fullerton, with little in the way of signage to guide one, the Cellar rewards the intrepid diner with well-cooked Cal-French cuisine. Executive Chef David Kesler, who makes the best snails I've had in OC (a splash of Pernod works wonders to stop the aged trope of snails-as-vehicles-for-garlic-butter), graciously agreed to answer our questions for this week's On The Line. You'll read more tomorrow, but sadly his recipes are closely-guarded secrets.
What are six words to describe your food?
David Kesler: Fresh, refined, balanced, classic, decadent, simple
OCW: What are ten words to describe you?
DK: Proud, passionate, committed, dedicated, caring, helpful, inquisitive, driven, organized, thorough
OCW: What's your best recent food find?
DK: Gobo root.
OCW: What's the most undervalued ingredient?
OCW: What are the rules of conduct in your kitchens?
DK: "Keep going!"
OCW: What's one food you detest?
OCW: And one food you can't live without?
OCW: Culinarily speaking, Orange County and Long Beach have the best:
OCW: What is your fast food guilty pleasure and why?
DK: Subway... it's fast and healthy (mostly), and tasty.
OCW: What's your best culinary tip for the home cook?
DK: Don't follow recipes to the word. Experiment and have fun.
OCW: What's your after-work hangout?
DK: My favorite placee: home with my wife.
OCW: If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
DK: Neil Diamond: the man...the legend
OCW: Who's your favorite celebrity chef?
DK: Joël Robuchon.
OCW: Celebrity chef who should shut up:
DK: Bobby Flay.
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OCW: What's next for you?
DK: Fulfill my destiny. Full steam ahead.
OCW: What's your proudest moment as a chef?
DK: Participating in the U.S. Pastry competition in NYC