On the Line: Alexander Dale of SeaLegs Wine Bar, Part Two

While we're deep in Orange County Restaurant Week, I'd like to point out that chef Alexander Dale has something special lined up for his dinner service. For $40, SeaLegs offers an appetizer, entrée, dessert, plus wine with every course. You begin with Chardonnay, transition to Cabernet, and finish with bubbles. Now all I need is a designated driver.

Read our interview with Alexander Dale of SeaLegs, part one. And now, on to part two . . .

What's your favorite childhood memory?
Skateboarding, no doubt. It ruled my life growing up, and I was able to see a lot of places I normally wouldn't have because these places were good spots to skate. My favorite taco place is still off of First Street. Before Santa Ana was what it is now, I used to skate down there because it's the only place where the cops would leave you alone. Growing up, we'd skate around the Federal Building every weekend. I've been skating for over 20 years. My skills have faded, but I still skate all the time.

When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
I'm hanging out at my house in Newport, skateboarding around town.


Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Newport Beach. I actually live a quarter-mile from Hoag (Hospital), where I was born.

Hardest lesson you've learned:
Moving back from Vegas when the economy crashed in 2007. I'm glad now, but at the time, it was like having a carpet dragged out from underneath your feet. It happened to the whole city out there, but I'm glad to see Vegas is back!

Last song playing on your radio:
We have had hip hop blaring on Pandora all day. That's pretty standard for Alicia and Lisa before we open, and I co-sign that I'm a big fan of '90s hip hop.

Tell us about your octopus tattoo.
I got it a couple of years ago. It's an ode to working a saute station, because you feel like you have eight arms just like an octopus when it's slammed.

What were you up to five years ago?
I was working at BOA five years ago, paying half of my check to parking tickets.

Where did you attend culinary school, and was there something you learned that you might not have learned so quickly if you had not attended?
I attended CSCA Pasadena, now recognized as Le Cordon Bleu College. It helped a lot in just immersing myself in the food industry. I was working at the same time, so I was around food 16 hours a day. It was tiring, but helped me a lot.

Do you have any skills that are non-food related?
I'm pretty good at sleeping in until noon on my days off.

Last thing you looked up online:
The GoPro video of Felix Baumgartner jumping from outer space . . .that guy is a beast [Editor's Note: He wasn't kidding. That video is nuts.]!

What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
I would probably be working in the film/TV industry. I have worked a little in the industry before, and have a lot of friends that currently work in this field. I enjoy it and have no problem working long hours.

SeaLegs launches their spring menu on March 1.

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