As I type this, Chef Sharron is returning from a culinary weekend in San Francisco. His existing paninoteca is undergoing a few modifications, and he expects to reopen in under a month. In the meantime, we finish our interview and wish you a Buon anno!
Read our interview with Sharron Barshishat of Paninoteca Maggio, part one. And now, on to part two . . .
You don't have a long commute to work, do you? Just one flight of stairs. I'm lucky to live right above my cafe. Do you have any skills that are non-food related? Human connection-- just getting to know people. I'm a people person. I need to see people every day. That's how I get my energy.
What's your favorite childhood memory? Summers at my grandparents'. My grandmother was a caterer. That's how I got my food addiction. I would help her with catering. Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Israel, served in the Israeli military as a tank commander for four years [Editor's Note: It was this military experience that taught Sharron discipline and time management.], worked for a bit and landed here 15 years ago with $3,000 in my pocket and started a new life.
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Last song playing on your radio: Our Love Won't Go by Jackie Ananian and My Beautiful Leah. When you're not in the kitchen creating, what are you doing? Listening to music, playing the conga, reading, cooking some more and out dining.
Hardest lesson you've learned: Give 100% of yourself, but never lose yourself and who you are in the process. Are you superstitious? If so, about what? Black cats. I'm allergic to cats both physically and spiritually. But black is my favorite color, by the way. Last book read. How was it? Women by Charles Bukowski, and the movie is not worth mentioning. When was the last time you were in Italy? April 2013. What would you be doing if you weren't in this business? Overdosed and drunk in a dark alley . . .kidding. Most likely a music-related career of some sort. I was always into percussion (instruments). I love Latin jazz very much. Music is a big part of my life. There is always music in the background-- from the minute I wake up, until I actually go to sleep. I'm very diverse with my taste in music.
FYI: The next paninoteca is scheduled for May at 601 E. Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana. Check for updates on their Facebook page.