On the Line: Alan Greeley of the Golden Truffle, Part One
Photo by Meranda Carter

On the Line: Alan Greeley of the Golden Truffle, Part One

Although chef Alan Greeley exercised brevity when responding to our questionnaire, his true colors shine in the kitchen. Disciples of his enduring cuisine understand the notion of world travel on a plate. The Golden Truffle's patio is the best seat in the house for this week's featured subject.

What are six words that describe your food?
Colorful, sexy, passionate, spicy, provocative and different.

What are eight words that describe you?
Fat, stubborn, impulsive, funny, lucky, creative, impatient, risk-taker.
Your best recent food find?
I found Korean chile thread at a market off the 22 freeway and Magnolia.

Most undervalued ingredient:
I have at least 10 kinds of vinegar. They brighten and lighten flavors. [Editor's Note: His salt collection is a whole other story.]

Rules of conduct in your kitchen:

One food you detest.
Poi tastes like bad glue.

One food you can't life without:
I love octupus.

Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
Ethnic mix.

What fast food do you admit to eating:
I love hot dogs. I used to go to a place in Santa Monica, but closer to home, I like PCH Dogs in Orange. They're difficult to make, but we lightly smoke our own with a lamb casing.

Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Don't worry!

After-work hangout:
My hammock.

Favorite celebrity chef:
Rick Moonen--he's an old friend.

Celebrity chef who should shut up.
All of them. They're overdone, overcooked.

Favorite music to cook by:
Depends on the food.

Best food city in America.
San Francisco for its cultural diversity.

What you'd like to see more of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
Honest food with more imagination. Places such as Il Barone, Cucina Alessa, Crow Bar and Splashes.

What you'd like to see less of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
Fake food.

Favorite cookbooks:
The Silver Palate by Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins and Michael McLaughlin; Fish Without a Doubt by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore; and The Joy of Baking by Barbara Grunes.

When you're not in the kitchen, what are you doing?
I read two to three books a week.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
A pig's uterus. It was chewy.

You're making breakfast. What are you having?
Eggs, bacon, Spam and a V8.

You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Everything, so I don't run out.

Weirdest customer request (and did you do it?):
Nutria, or possum. I phoned a special request to a vendor in Louisiana for it.

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