Dave Mau is the chef and raconteur behind the Dinners with Dave event, a night of free music and free food, held every second and fourth Wednesday at Memphis at the Santora. When he's not doing that or cooking at the Vermilion Valley Resort in the High Sierras, he and Cody Requejo run the kitchen at The Retreat in Costa Mesa.
But when I approached Mau for this interview, he had some devastating news: His younger brother, Chris, had just died. "Anyone in the OC who has appreciated my (our) food over the years knows what an enormous culinary influence my brother was," Mau said. "I mean it when I say he was a better cook than I will ever be."
Despite his loss, Mau still agreed to answer our set of frivolous questions. Here are his characteristically hilarious responses along with a photo of Mau together with his brother that he wanted to share.
1. Dish that you cook that most represents you.
Tri-Tip I guess. Not that mine is neccesarily the best but I've just made so goddam much of it over the years.
2. What was the last meal you had at home?
Right now I am reheating a sausage and pepper sandwich I made a few days ago. It's a good one too....
3. Your favorite restaurant (other than yours):
Currently, Honda Ya in Tustin. Tacos Jalisco in Orange is a very close second.
4. Fast food guilty pleasure:
Del Taco green bean burritos with french fries in them at three in the morning and a bottle of two-buck Chuck.
5. Complete this sentence: I would like to [verb] [Food Network Star] with [noun].
I would like to sodomize Guy Fieri with a white-hot can of Cheese-Whiz
6. Last meal of your life, what would it be?
Easy. Steaks over an open fire at Vermilion (my summer spot in the Sierra) with a side of plain al dente angel hair and some good company....and lots of beer.
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7. Items you always have in your refrigerator:
Club soda, half and half, pickles, butter, feta, Sriracha. Shit usually doesn't last long in there.
8. Your most indispensable kitchen tool or appliance:
Does bacon fat count? If not, the sushi knife that is currently on loan from Cody.