We saw Cody the day before our interview. He was catering for 900 at the Bruery's reserve tasting event in Anaheim while we poured bourbon barrel-aged Coton. Good times. We traded stories the next morning over brunch.
You're making breakfast. What are you having?
Coffee with biscuits and gravy. And what I make at home is often what we offer here at HopScotch.
Are there any special events coming up?
Tons! In addition to our regular Monday Pint Nights, which showcase a different craft brewery every week, we're all looking forward to our big one year anniversary celebration December 1!
We spotted tur-duck-en on the fall dinner menu. How complex is that to make?
The dish is really easy to make. The hard part is crossbreeding a turkey with a duck, and then the offspring with a chicken (smiley face).
Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
I'm not sure it has the best of any one thing as much as it is known for being a great melting pot for the best of everything. Very eclectic. If I had to point to one specific segment, you can't argue with Mexican food. Especially all of the smaller Mom and Pop joints that really do it right.
We hear your pastry chef, Mai Phan, is a force to be reckoned with.
Mai is an unbelievable talent, and she's a joy to work with. Just don't mess with her Dr. Pepper.
Favorite meal growing up:
Taco salad. We ate out often when I was growing up in Texas and I loved taco salads. I figured it was a healthier choice.
Most undervalued ingredient:
Salt. Makes everything taste better and costs the least.
Let's talk about those crispy pig ears!
They don't suck.
Paul Prudhomme, curator of the only true American cuisine, Cajun.
Where was your most recent meal?
Tex-Mex at La Casita in Orange. Dank enchiladas.
Favorite places to eat (besides your own).
Kentro Greek Kitchen up the street from HopScotch, and Old Vine at The Camp in Costa Mesa.
Best culinary tip for the home cook.
Use more butter, salt and cream.
Weirdest customer request (and did you do it?).
Fried chicken, crust on the side. And no . . .
Is there a dish that you'd like to learn how to make?
I love learning about charcuterie. You can never know enough!
Strangest thing you've ever eaten:
[Editor's Note: This answer specifically came from Mai Phan and Jeff Moore, his sous chef.] Raw squid marinated in fish guts at Kappo Honda.
Your best recent food find.
Hippie Harvest Huckleberries from Josh Cruz at Produce Service LA.
HopScotch is as much about the liquid nourishment as it is your cuisine (Congrats on the Golden Foodie Award, by the way.) What makes your bar special?
Thank you. Of course, we're extremely honored to receive such prestigious acknowledgements. I think it speaks to the quality of our bar program. Everything from how we hand select each beer, the amount of passion and pride that goes into creating every seasonal cocktail menu, using house-made mixers and syrups, as well as the types of small batch whiskies and premium brown spirits that fill virtually every square inch of the bar. There's really not one aspect that gets overlooked.
What is your beverage of choice?
Larceny. Any respectable watering hole should have it.
One food you can't live without.
Life without pork is like a day without the sun.