We've interviewed the chefs of fancy places, we've interviewed the chefs of hidden holes in the wall, but we've never interviewed the chef of a food truck until now. Mariela Rebollo is the force in the mobile kitchen of Barcelona on the Go, a Spanish food truck that's been prowling the streets of OC serving up great tapas–all they need now is a wine permit. Tune in tomorrow for more questions, and Thursday for a recipe from the chef herself.
OC Weekly: What are six words to describe your food?
Mariela Rebollo: Fresh, traditional, simple, tasteful, quality ingredients, and good presentation.
OCW: What are ten words to describe you?
MR: Innovative, detail-oriented, perfectionist, passionate, hard-working, professional, resourceful, serious, impatient, task-oriented.
OCW: What's your best recent food find?
MR: Can't think of one.
OCW: What's the most undervalued ingredient?
MR: Bay leaves.
OCW: Rules of conduct in your kitchens:
MR: Safety, freshness of ingredients, and staying customer-focused.
OCW: Is there one food you particularly detest?
OCW: Is there one food you can't live without?
MR: Good bread and chocolate.
OCW: Culinary speaking, Orange County has the best:
MR: Potential for great food and people to appreciate it.
OCW: What is your fast-food guilty pleasure and why?
MR: In-N-Out; it's family-owned, with a secret menu and respect for their employees.
OCW: What's your best culinary tip for home cooks?
MR: Don't be afraid to screw up, keep trying and learn from your mistakes. Keep it easy and don't be afraid to adapt recipes with what's on hand.
OCW: What's your after-work hangout?
MR: At home with my boys and husband.
OCW: If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
MR: Albert Einstein.
OCW: Who's your favorite celebrity chef?
MR: Ina Garten and José Andrés.
OCW: Celebrity chef who should shut up:
MR: Rachael Ray.
OCW: What's next for you?
MR: Continuing to acquire knowledge about food, using a variety of ingredients, and different cuisines.
OCW: What's your proudest moment as a chef?
MR: Launching a food truck.
OCW: What's your favorite music to cook by?
MR: I listen to all types of music while I cook.
OCW: What's the best food city in America?
MR: New York.
OCW: What's your favorite restaurant in America?
MR: Very hard to say, as there are many depending on the cuisine.
OCW: What would you like to see more of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint?
MR: More family-owned restaurants.