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.

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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?

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

OCW:
What's your best recent food find?

DK:
Gobo root.

OCW:
What's the most undervalued ingredient?

DK: Salt.

OCW:
What are the rules of conduct in your kitchens?

DK: “Keep going!”

OCW: What's one food you detest?

DK: Octopus.

OCW:
And one food you can't live without?

DK:
Artichokes.

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

DK: Seafood.

OCW:
What is your fast food guilty pleasure and why?

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

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

DK:
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

OCW:
Who's your favorite celebrity chef?

DK: Joël Robuchon.

OCW: Celebrity chef who should shut up:

DK: Bobby Flay.

OCW:
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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