On the Line: Charity Smith Of Bacchus Bar And Bistro, Part Two
Chef coats are the new black
Photo courtesy of Savan Photography
The most surprising thing I learned about Charity was her original career path, and how she realized that cooking was in her blood. As much as I love discussing food, often times it's even more entertaining to learn about what makes them tick.
Read the first part of our
drinking session interview with sweet Charity over here. Then watch us wrap things up below. . . .
What were you up to five years ago? Working for Sapphire Laguna in their Sapphire at School program. I was the fanciest lunch lady ever at Sage Hill School (GO LIGHTNING!).
Hardest lesson you've learned: BE PREPARED! Give yourself a fighting chance. Otherwise the tickets start coming, and you go down in flames.
Last thing you looked up online: Tickets for Stevie Wonder next month at the Forum [Editor's Note: She got 'em!].
Do you have any skills that are not food-related? I make a great ride-along comedian and overall facilitator of good times.
What's it like working with family? I kind of feel I've always worked with my family in some capacity. Somehow, Deb (Mom) and I always end up together. It's never really planned, but I think we work really well as a team. I know she has my back, and she really pushes me. I have friends that say, "There's NO WAY I could work with my mom!" and I just tell them that one day I'll be SO grateful for this time that I got to spend with her.
Where did you grow up? I'm an OC gal (in a good way!). I spent some time in Central California and Oakland, but came home in '96 to go to culinary school.
When you're not at the restaurant, what are you doing in your free time? Riding my bike around Long Beach, soaking up as much sun and fun as possible to get me through another work week!
Last song playing on your radio: This Must Be the Place by Talking Heads. We keep a pretty steady flow of Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Hall & Oates and Morrissey to keep the radio peace. But when I'm working alone, I like a 'lil more bass.
What's your favorite childhood memory? Singing Sunday school songs with my cousins at the top of our lungs, and my Grandpa letting us.
Are you superstitious? Only in that I believe in Kitchen Karma, which is when you make a statement like, "Oh, only 40 reservations tonight. That's gonna be a breeze!" Or when one of your nine-to-five friends texts you and asks what time you're going to be off, and you say, "Probably not too late"-- and then all hell breaks loose!
Last book read; how was it? Morrissey's autobiography. I got the unedited UK version, so all of the juicy bits were left in.
What did you study in school? Did you always plan on being a chef? Originally, I was in Fire Technology school and wanted to be a firefighter. I found myself cooking a lot at the firehouse, and suddenly the light came on. I had grown up cooking, but never really thought I'd do it professionally. I made the leap from one hot job to the other. So glad I did!
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.