Can a name for our featured chef be more appropriate than Jared Cook? Nah. The man in the kitchen at St. Roy Chef's Pub offers us his thoughts on foodies and how he likes to spend his free time. On the Line, Part One, begins below.
What are six words to describe your food?
Real, clean, seasonal, fresh, soulful, sexy.
What are eight words to describe you?
Creative, passionate, driven, humorous, confident, reliable, persistent, rootsy.
Your best recent food find:
First of the season live soft-shelled crabs . . . Amazing right now.
Most undervalued ingredient:
Salt–99 percent of home cooks don't use enough. Even lots of pros underseason, in my opinion.
Rules of conduct in your kitchen:
Keep it clean, make every dish like you would like to eat it, and always strive to do more.
One food you detest:
One food you can't live without:
Real Mexican food.
Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
Vietnamese food (see Little Saigon).
What fast food do you admit to eating?
I have a terrible Taco Bell habit. Also, Hawaiian barbecue plate lunches and In-N-Out.
Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Somewhere with a pool table and a proper gin and tonic.
Favorite celebrity chef:
Marco Pierre White.
Celebrity chef who should shut up:
Top Chef should shut up. . . . Top Chef Masters is cool.
Favorite music to cook by:
Classic rock and roots/rock/reggae.
Best food city in America:
What you'd like to see more of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
Foodies, real people who love food and don't just eat to eat.
What you'd like to see less of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
Acceptance of mediocre food.
When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
Going out eating and laughing with friends, playing golf, shooting pool, etc.
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten:
Fertilized duck egg.
You're making breakfast. What are you having?
Chicken-fried steak, eggs over easy, sausage gravy, biscuits, hash browns and black coffee.
You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Weirdest customer request:
Blue cheese with fish, maybe . . . disgusting.