We see a recurring seafood theme as our interview with Capital Seafood's Eric Souka continues. He also hints at future expansion possibilities. For more backstory on our subject, click here to view part one. Pay a visit tomorrow for a meaty change of pace.
Hardest lesson you've learned:
Working without the support of your fellow team members.
What would your last meal on Earth be?
I would have a 7-pound Maine lobster.
Who's your hero, culinary or otherwise?
My hero is my business partner, Paul Tea. He is the only boss I have had in my lifetime. He gave me my first opportunity nearly 30 years ago. [Editor's note: Turns out Paul's son James studied Hospitality Management when I did, and we were in the same graduating class. Talk about a small world.]
Tell us about your food-service-industry background.
I've been in the industry for nearly 35 years. Started out as a dishwasher, and now I am the executive chef at Capital.
Where are you originally from, and what brought you to Orange County?
Cambodia. I traveled to the U.S. when I was 17 for work.
Name your favorite dishes off the menu to dine on when you're not in the kitchen.
That depends on the time of day. For dim sum, I like the shrimp and chive dumplings; other times, definitely the seafood.
Most popular item(s) on the menu:
Definitely the house special lobster or the Capital filet mignon cubes.
How do the tastes of Orange County residents differ from other locations you've worked at?
Customers in Orange County love a stronger flavor when it comes to food. They enjoy the true spices and ingredients that make a good dish.
What dish would you tell newcomers to Capital to try first?
Our famous house special lobster is a must!
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
A professional fisherman.
What advice do you have for those who might be thinking about a career in food?
My advice to those who might be interested would be to get into this business if you have a passion for food.
What do you see yourself doing in five years? Ten years?
Opening up more Capital Seafood locations all across the country. [Editor's Note: If the partners find the right location there, San Diego is being considered.]