On the Line: Christian Murcia of Crepes Bonaparte & Brats Berlin, Part One

He may not be French (he's Hispanic), but Christian Murcia can make an authentic crepe. His business acumen has enabled him to launch Brats Berlin, a German-themed luxe lonchera featuring bratwurst, which debuted over the weekend. Join us as we tap the creativity behind Crepes Bonaparte in this week's On the Line.

What are six words that describe your food?
Simple, sweet, savory, delicious, yummy, authentic.

What are eight words that describe you?
Relentless, exhausting, confident, creative, perfectionist, risk-taker, happy, genuine.

Your best recent food find:

I recently went to the Oinkster in LA and have been taking all my friends and family there since; the pastrami is amazing.

Most undervalued ingredient:
Butter. Although everyone keeps trying to use olive oil as a substitute, things just taste better with butter!

Rules of conduct in your kitchen:
If you have time to lean, you have time to clean. I hate seeing people standing around, doing nothing.

One food you detest:
There are two: Tapatío and ketchup. I don't know why some people bother trying different food; it all tastes the same when you put Tapatío and ketchup all over it. [Editor's note: Agreed!]

One food you can't live without:
Beans. I'm Hispanic, and I have to have beans in at least one meal every day.

Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
Restaurant chains. That's why people love food trucks; it's different than what I can get everywhere else.

What fast food do you admit to eating?
I love McDonalds. You can complain about it all you want, but there is a reason why they are the biggest franchise in the world–simple and consistent.

Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Add dry spices to anything and everything. Even if you use marinara sauce from a jar, add some basil and oregano to give it more flavor.

After-work hangout:
Haha . . . wish I had time to find one.

Favorite celebrity chef:
Ty-Flo [a.k.a. Tyler Florence]. I don't really watch TV to see who is popular, but I saw him on a Wishbone ad.

Celebrity chef who should shut up:
Jason at the Lime Truck. . . . Just kidding–I'm just jealous because his food is so good.

Favorite music to cook by:
A little bit of Pharcyde or Jamiroquai. I'm all over the place when it comes to music.

Best food city in America:
Vegas! I'm a big sucker for all-you-can-eat buffets, and they have the best ones.

What you'd like to see more of in Orange County, from a culinary standpoint:
More barbecue places; there aren't enough out there.

What you'd like to see less of in Orange County, from a culinary standpoint:
Less fancy, expensive food. I feel there is more skill in making tasty, affordable food than tasty, expensive food. Anyone can buy expensive ingredients and make something taste decent, but working on a budget forces chefs to come up with unique flavors from simple, everyday ingredients.

Favorite cookbooks:
My grandma's. I remember eating all her delicious food during the holidays, and now I enjoy making them for my family.

When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
Trying to run a business. It takes more than cooking to run a food truck.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten:
I had a seared-chicken sashimi in Japan and didn't feel right about eating it since I have been taught to not undercook chicken.

You're making breakfast. What are you having?
During the week, it's coffee, black, with no sugar. But on the weekend, it's beans, fried eggs, bacon, tortillas and Mexican crema–typical Latin breakfast.

You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Milk and Nutella. They come in two-packs at Costco.

Weirdest customer request:
I had a lady ask us to grill bananas and cinnamon (no crepe) on the grill because she was on a diet with no sugar or grease. There are too many fad diets.

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