Read our interview with George Valdovinos of Embarcadero California Bistro, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two . . . .
When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
I am a proud new father and spend as much time as I can with my wife and new baby girl.
Last song playing:
Michael Buble's Everything.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Costa Mesa, California.
Favorite SF landmark.
The San Francisco Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. After returning from a trip to San Francisco (where my wife and I ate our way through there), I was inspired to create a dining concept reminiscent of the city by the bay.
Hardest lesson you've learned.
Learning to be a chef and an owner. Cooking in the kitchen is where I'm the most comfortable, but I have to remember to leave the kitchen and greet guests.
What's your favorite childhood memory?
Celebrating Fourth of July in the neighborhood where I grew up.
What were you up to five years ago?
I was opening my first restaurant, Bistro 311 in San Juan Capistrano. It is one of my proudest accomplishments next to opening Embarcadero.
What kind of live music do you have playing?
We love hosting live music nights. Our solo guitarist on Thursday plays everything from classic rock, oldies and modern hits. On Sundays we have a saxophonist who plays all of the brass instruments. We're expanding our live music entertainment to Friday and Saturday soon.
Last book read; how was it?
The Reach of a Chef: Beyond the Kitchen by Michael Ruhlman. The book looks at leading chefs like Thomas Keller who have made a big impact on the culinary world. It was both informative and entertaining.
Do you have any skills that are non-food related?
I'm the handyman in my household [Editor's Note: Like most chef owners, he also fixes everything in their restaurant's kitchen.]; from fixing cars to things around the house . . .I get it done.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
I am passionate about cooking. I can't imagine doing anything else, although I do love playing golf.