Gabriel Caliendo of The Lazy Dog Cafe, Part Two

Gabriel Caliendo of The Lazy Dog Cafe, Part Two
Kimberly Valenzuela

On The Line this week features Executive Chef Gabriel Caliendo of The Lazy Dog Cafe. In case you missed part one of the interview, you can find it here. Check back tomorrow for Chef Caliendo's recipe for Cast Iron Idaho Trout.

Favorite music to cook by:
Alternative rock.

Best food city in America:
Las Vegas.

Favorite restaurant in America:
The French Laundry... just love the attention to detail and farm-fresh products.

What you'd like to see more of in Orange County or Long Beach from a culinary standpoint:
Oceanfront dining with good food... not just a good view.

What you'd like to see less of in Orange County or Long Beach from a culinary standpoint:
Expensive steak and seafood restaurants that are not worth the money. Broccoli and mashed potatoes as a side, really?

Favorite cookbooks:
Charlie Trotters, Nobu, Mario Batali, French Laundry.

What show would you pitch to the Food Network?
Start with harvesting something from the garden, ocean, ranch and finish with preparation of that item.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten:
Boiled pigs feet with just lemon and salt.

You're making an omelet. What's in it?
House-cured salmon, green onion cream cheese and a paper-thin crepe-like egg omelet. Too much scrambled egg makes me squeamish.

You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Wine: one red and one white. The rest I've grown in the garden and bought at the butcher shop.

Weirdest customer request:
Nothing crazy... although I always thought the request for an egg white omelet with no oil was funny. What a mess.

Favorite restaurant(s) other than your own:
Gen Kai Sushi Restaurant and Javier's Mexican Restaurant.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
It is VERY easy to write a menu...bringing it to life and being consistent is not easy at all.

What would be the last meal on Earth be?
Sushi dinner:  hamachi, uni, toro, aji, edamame, shishito pepper.......YUM!

Who's your hero? Culinary or otherwise?
Robin, my wife, is a big hero to me for raising our two children. At times it seems SOOOOOOO crazy hard. She has great patience with them.

What cuisine that you are unfamiliar with would you want to learn more about and why?
North African. There are some items I know and love from there, like tagines and couscous, so I'm sure that there are some gems from there that I don't know about.


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