On the Line: Brent Omeste of CUCINA Enoteca, Part Two
AKA really cool dad
Photo by LP Hastings
Today's installment provides one of my favorite answers in a questionnaire. Before you wonder which response, it's the first one below. Learn a bit more about Brent outside of the kitchen.
CUCINA Enoteca takes care of their restaurant family, and Brent can attest to that. Hear what he has to say about this in part one.
Tell us about your daughter, and what it's like being a dad. My daughter is amazing. Being a dad is amazing. That's coming from a guy who wasn't sure about having a child in the past. It gives a whole new meaning to life. It's incredible watching her grow into the toddler stage. She's becoming so aware; she has so much personality, just sweet as can be. Last week she reached out and gave me a hug and a kiss for the first time. I melted. She's going to be so spoiled.
How did you meet your wife? My friend and her roommate were dating at the time and introduced us. We've hardly been apart since then.
What's your favorite childhood memory? Standing in the kitchen, crushing tomatoes with my hands (for our family tomato sauce) right next to my Mom.
Tell us something most people don't know about you. I'm a healthy eater. Salads, fruits, vegetables, lean protein. I try to be conscious of what I am eating, and how that affects my health and energy level.
Where did you grow up, and where's home these days? I was born and raised in Orange County. Never left. Never will. I love it here. I currently call Ladera Ranch home.
You have a whole day to yourself; what do you do? Outside of spending time with my family, or trying to give my wife a break from my daughter, I enjoy mountain biking. It's an active sport and good exercise that doesn't feel like exercise. That's usually how my days off begin. Any chance I get, I try to see my parents and spend time with them. It would be a nice relaxing day, that's for certain.
What turns you on-- creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Creativity has always been appealing to me. I enjoy the process of conceptualization to execution. In the culinary arts field, it is the plating of a dish. I believe a dish needs to be aesthetically appealing, as well as taste great. I originally got into culinary arts, hoping to get into food styling.
Last movie watched The Theory of Everything. It was a great movie. Stephen Hawking's story is both emotional and inspirational. It makes you think about what you are capable of in life.
Do you have any skills that are non-food related? What are they? I've played tennis my entire life.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business? Something in marketing or advertising. Still something creative.
What did you learn in culinary school that you might not have learned if you didn't attend? Technique. Chef Bill Barber (my mentor) at Orange Coast College focused greatly on precision cookery and the methods applied. Through my time on the Student Hot Foods Team, I was able to work closely with him on basic skill sets. He also pushed me into learning pastry techniques, which helped me round out my abilities much further.
Hardest lesson you've learned: Short term goals can lead to long term lessons. Think about the path you want, and execute it in the most strategic way possible. Think before you make any emotional decisions.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.