Once shrouded in secrecy like a J.K. Rowling novel, Chapter One: the modern local has been open just over a month. SanTana's newest artist to its village is their very own Oge Dalken, chef and Detroit transplant. We start off this week's On The Line learning about his love of a certain fast food chain and aversion to sea urchin.
What are six words to describe your food?
Global, pretty, layered, balanced, colorful, tall.
What are five words to describe you?
Single, fat, tired, loyal, family-oriented.
Your best recent food find:
The Culotte cut of beef.
Most undervalued ingredient:
Rules of conduct in your kitchen:
Follow the recipes! and Make it pretty.
One food you detest:
Raw tomato and sea urchin.
One food you can't live without:
All of it!!!
Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
I am new to Orange County, but I have found a couple of good burgers. Orange County has a bunch of young chefs that are making some great food. I can't wait to see what will be coming out of the kitchen in the next couple years. I want to see some good sausage places, though.
What fast food do you admit to eating?
Detroit's American Coney Island.
Best culinary tip for the home cook?
The book The Joy of Cooking.
Favorite celebrity chef:
Masaharu Morimoto and Ming Tsai.
Celebrity chef who should just shut up:
The rest of them!
Favorite music to cook by:
Best food city in America:
What you'd like to see more of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
More of our style of concept: great from-scratch food, casual atmosphere yet great service, and open late!
What you'd like to see less of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
I am new to Orange County, but I wish there were more old downtown's like Santa Ana that stay non-commercialized, culture-filled neighborhoods with tons of places to eat, drink and socialize.
I haven't written it yet. Haha. Just kidding, but with the internet you get the best of all chefs, so I couldn't just nail down one.
When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
Drinking or sleeping.
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten:
Here comes the sea urchin again! I've eaten bugs, snakes, crazy game, offal, but sea urchin is the most awkward.
You're making breakfast. What are you having?
Leftover American Coney Island's from the night before!
You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Two six-packs, two bottles of wine, you name it.
Weirdest customer request:
After being a chef in Beverly Hills, nothing is weird to me anymore. I do remember having to cut a burger in thirds once, which was annoying.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.