David Kesler of the Cellar, Part One

Hidden in the bottom floor of a beautiful old building on the edge of Downtown Fullerton, with little in the way of signage to guide one, the Cellar rewards the intrepid diner with well-cooked Cal-French cuisine. Executive Chef David Kesler, who makes the best snails I've had in OC (a splash of Pernod works wonders to stop the aged trope of snails-as-vehicles-for-garlic-butter), graciously agreed to answer our questions for this week's On The Line. You'll read more tomorrow, but sadly his recipes are closely-guarded secrets.

OC Weekly: What are six words to describe your food?

David Kesler:
Fresh, refined, balanced, classic, decadent, simple

OCW: What are ten words to describe you?

Proud, passionate, committed, dedicated, caring, helpful, inquisitive, driven, organized, thorough

What's your best recent food find?

Gobo root.

What's the most undervalued ingredient?

DK: Salt.

What are the rules of conduct in your kitchens?

DK: “Keep going!”

OCW: What's one food you detest?

DK: Octopus.

And one food you can't live without?


OCW: Culinarily speaking, Orange County and Long Beach have the best:

DK: Seafood.

What is your fast food guilty pleasure and why?

Subway… it's fast and healthy (mostly), and tasty.

What's your best culinary tip for the home cook?

Don't follow recipes to the word. Experiment and have fun.

OCW: What's your after-work hangout?

DK: My favorite placee: home with my wife.

OCW: If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

DK: Neil Diamond: the man…the legend

Who's your favorite celebrity chef?

DK: Joël Robuchon.

OCW: Celebrity chef who should shut up:

DK: Bobby Flay.

What's next for you?

DK: Fulfill my destiny. Full steam ahead.

OCW: What's your proudest moment as a chef?

DK: Participating in the U.S. Pastry competition in NYC

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