On The Line: Manuel Gonzalez Of TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Part Two
Kevin Lara

On The Line: Manuel Gonzalez Of TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Part Two

As we continue our three-part series with Chef Gonzalez, we learn about his stints working for a couple of gregarious chefs. He also makes reference to a picky Brewmaster and notorious oysters. Stay tuned for tomorrow's finale, where Manny shows us how to do seafood right. To catch up on part one, click here.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
Correct ordering portions. Breaks my heart to over order or have some things go to waste.

What would your last meal on Earth be?
Pork pozole.

Who's your hero, culinary or otherwise?
My Dad, the happiest cook I know.

Tell us about your foodservice industry background.

  • California Culinary Academy
  • Pastry with Master Pastry Chef Rudi Weiner at Marriott San Diego (Downtown)
  • Tra Vigne with Michael Chiarello in St. Helena
  • Ropongi with Stephen Windows in La Jolla
  • Nine Ten with Jason Knibb in La Jolla

Stages at:

  • Gary Danko in San Francisco,
  • Morimoto in Philadelphia

TAPS is known for both seafood and beer. How closely do you work with your Brewmaster on pairings or creating new dishes?
Very closely, Victor is always on hand and is just as picky as me when it comes to the accompaniments of our creations. We only want the best for our guest.

What makes your Sunday brunch such a hit for the locals?
Our Sunday Brunch seems to be such a hit to the locals for our wonderful variety of food from seafood on ice, traditional breakfast items, tasteful desserts, and World's Greatest Bloody Mary (which is made with a secret recipe).

With five separate dining areas in the restaurant, where would I find you seated and what would you be having?
I would be seated at our energetic oyster bar, enjoying half a dozen fresh shucked oysters and a half dozen of our charbroiled oysters, drinking one of our award-winning beers.

Your dessert selection includes items with a thirty minute wait time. Is there one guests seem to gravitate to?
Our blooming lush chocolate souffle served with hazelnut dark chocolate and homemade whipped cream.

What would you tell newcomers to TAPS to try first?
The cooked oysters - amazing if you love oysters, and the best way to ease into loving oysters.

What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
Graphic artist.

What advice do you have for those who might be thinking about a career in food?
Be passionate and love what you do.

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