We were rather fortunate to run into some of Keba's friends at their first truck stop, and we thank them for contributing to our line of questioning. It made our interview even more entertaining. Our discussion turns to family, superheroes, and a certain quote, “Chefs are so crazy. If we weren't chefs we'd be serial killers.” Um, check please!
Read our interview with Keba Parker of A Bite Truck, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two. . . .
When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
Spending time with my kids, coming up with new recipes, writing, or burning off some steam playing video games.
We heard you used to do martial arts?
Yes. I have been doing martial arts since I was about 4-years-old, starting with karate and then jeet kune do. I don't get to practice anymore because I work a lot, but I still love it. I want to teach both of my kids kendo as they get older.
Last song playing on your radio/smart phone/iPod:
Hell of a Season by The Black Keys.
Where did you grow up?
I was actually born in New York, but moved to San Juan Capistrano when I was about 1-year-old. I've lived in Orange County for most of my life, though I did move back to New York for a short time in my teens.
When was your hair its longest, and how long are we talking?
So not loving my friends for sharing that with you. . . I used to have a Manchu Cue down to my lower back. My wife jokes that she never would have married me if I'd had that when we met.
Hardest lesson you've learned:
That no matter how hard you try, you can't save everyone.
What's your favorite childhood memory?
Family bbq day. My Dad loved to bring all our family/friends of the family together for meals at least once a week. We also used to pile the whole family into the Volkswagon bus (I have a large family) and sneak into the drive-in with some McDonalds. I remember watching The Twilight Zone, and it terrified the (explicative) out of me. I haven't watched it since.
Favorite Halloween costume:
Superman. I think I was Superman every year for at least 10 years as a kid.
When is your birthday?
March 8. Both my Dad and son are just a few days after mine. My son was the best birthday gift I've ever gotten.
Are you superstitious; if so, about what?
Never say “A little bit.” On the truck we never say things like “Traffic is not that bad” or “Oh, this stop won't be that busy.” The moment you say it you have jinxed yourself.
What were you up to five years ago?
Learning to be a Dad for the first time. My son was born on March 11, five years ago.
Favorite holiday and why:
As much as I love Halloween, I have to say Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I usually open up our home to any friend who has no place to go or does not like to cook, and I go all out. I guess it's like my Superbowl.
What kind of music do you enjoy?
I listen to everything but country, honestly. The music I listen to depends on my mood and what I am doing. Anything from Mad Caddies and The Black Keys to Rage Against the Machine and Front Line Assembly.
You told me a quote. What was it? “Chefs are so crazy, if we weren't chefs we'd be serial killers?”
My friend from Natural Born Caterers told me that once. I love it because it is true. We are not in this business for the fame or to make money. We are in it because we are half mad and extremely passionate about food.
Last book you read or last movie watched. How was it?
Avengers. It was excellent. I saw it twice in three days. I took my son to see it since I'm sharing my love of superheroes and comic books with him. The Hulk was amazing, especially when he beats Loki like a rag doll.
When you use the internet, what's on your homepage?
Cowboy Bebop themed IGoogle with my work email, calendar and wired top stories.
Last thing you looked up/searched online:
My Yelp reviews. I try to always read them and try to take the customer's suggestions and constructive criticism to heart. If they didn't have a good experience, I want to understand why so I could fix it. [Editor's Note: We also talked about how utilizing premium ingredients are reflected in menu pricing, and how customers don't always realize that.]
Do you have any skills that are non-food related? What are they?
I think I am a pretty decent writer, a decent martial artist, I used to sing, and I can fence.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
Probably working as a Director of Business Development again, dreaming of cooking for a living.