Laura De Martin of TusCA, Part One

The recent renovation of the Hyatt Regency in Garden Grove ushered in a new upscale eatery–TusCA. The menu features rustic Italian cuisine with a touch of California, with the help of Italian native Chef Laura De Martin.

Chef Laura took the time to go On The Line and answer Part One of our questionnaire. Check back tomorrow for Part Two, and Thursday for a special recipe!

What are six words to describe your food?
Simple, harmonic, surprising, authentic, entertaining, creative.

What are ten words to describe you?
Thoughtful, caring, patient, adventurous, creative, nurturing, contemplative, hard-working, passionate, inspired.

Your best recent food find:
Fennel seeds.
Most undervalued ingredient:

Rules of conduct in your kitchens:
Consistency, taste and have fun.
One food you detest:
Overcooked pasta.
One food you can't live without:
A good plate of pasta.
Culinarily speaking, Orange County and Long Beach has the best:
OC has the best local markets.
What is your fast food guilty pleasure and why?
People think pizza is fast food but it's anything but fast if made well with quality ingredients. I eat it all the time.

Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Start with the basics.
After-work hangout:
Sushi bar.
If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would love to cook for Jacques Pepin, because to me he is the culinary icon of all time.
Favorite celebrity chef:
Hubert Keller.
Celebrity chef who should shut up:
Rachael Ray.
What's next for you?
I am working my way to the Executive Chef position.
Proudest moment as a chef:
Coming from Italy to USA and achieving what I have so far.

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