On the Line: Manfred Lassahn Of Watertable, Part Two

Photo by LP Hastings

Despite all the cool things I learned about Chef Lassahn, I admit that my favorite fact was learning we actually grew up less than 15 miles from each other. In our final segment, we also learn that his love of all things culinary began at an early age-- but you don't have to take our word for it.

Hardest lesson you've learned: The hardest thing that I have had to learn is to do what you can in the time that you have. That is both personally and professionally.

You have a whole day to yourself; what do you do? Outside doing yard work. Being inside so much, there is no better place than to be out in the yard with my hands in the dirt. I am an avid gardener and have practiced the art of Bonsai for years.

Last thing you looked up/searched online: I was searching for a cool looking, reclaimed wooden sidewalk sandwich chalkboard for in front of the restaurant.

What's your favorite childhood memory? Spending the summers in Germany with family, gathering up eggs, milking cows and going into the vegetable garden in the afternoon to select the items that were going to be prepared for dinner that evening. My obsession with fresh ingredients began early.

Where did you grow up, and where's home these days? I grew up in a town south of San Francisco called Burlingame, and Southern California has been my home now for 30 years.

Last book you read or last movie watched; how was it? My last book was an audio book called Start with Why, about how great leaders inspire others to take action. It's one that I would recommend to others.

Tell us something most people don't know about you. I was a pastry chef before becoming a savory chef.

What would you be doing if you weren't in this business? I honestly couldn't imagine doing anything else. The creativity, constantly being inspired by ingredients and smiles on guest faces makes this the best job out there.

What turns you on-- creatively, spiritually or emotionally? My weekly Sunday morning outing to the Farmer's Market in Claremont. The fresh seasonal produce, catching up with the growers, chatting with the people, shopping and the gorgeous weather can bring it all together for me.

Watertable is located at 21500 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, (714) 845-4776; www.watertablehb.com.

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