“I just like to see the locals come in, try new things and just come back, and back and back. Most hotel guests you never even see again. I know this community pretty well, so it's a lot of fun to be out shopping somewhere and see someone who just dined here.”
Read our interview with Roy Hendrickson of Zimzala, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two . . . .
When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
Hanging out with my kids, sleeping or bombing hills on a skateboard.
Last song playing on your radio/smart phone/iPod:
It was on my iPod, Dead Kennedys Buzzbomb From Pasadena.
Where did you grow up?
Let's see: Huntington Beach, CA; Springfield, MO; Bloomington, IN; Coventry, England.
Do you spend a lot of time at the beach?
I don't, but I wish I did, but a typical work week is about 75-80 hours a week. We live in Huntington Beach. I try to get to the beach as much as I can when the kids want to go, like when their friends are having bonfires.
Hardest lesson you've learned:
Doing a volcano onion on a teppan table after a few too many beers, back in the day at Daimon Japanese in Sunset (Beach). It was very acceptable, especially in that environment, for guests to buy you drinks. Sometimes they would get you loaded just to watch you cook drunk. It was a lot of fun, but I don't think you can do it for very long, depending on the sort of person you are and character you have. I was probably 21 or 22, making pretty good money in tips. It was a great experience– one of my first jobs in California. I just wouldn't recommend it for someone that age. The old owners from there are actually coming by to eat. I haven't seen them in a very long time.
What were you up to five years ago?
Cooking the grill at Tantalum, Long Beach.
Tell us about living in England.
Loved it. It rained far too much. I played rugby and went to pubs. The concrete jungle was good for skateboarding. I listened to The Specials and ate fish 'n chips. I lived in Coventry, England for about five years and loved it except for the rain.
Last book you read.
FOOD: The History of Taste. I am still reading it.
Do you have any skills that are non-food related?
Yes, making my kids laugh at me just by doing silly stuff. We'll be driving, and my son will be in the back. I'll glance at him in the rear view mirror, and I'll catch his eye and make a crazy face. He'll say, “Dad, you're a grown adult. People can see you.”
My youngest son is a pretty funny kid. For instance, I'll come home and take off my shoes. I'll come out every morning to grab my shoes, and they won't be where I left them. When I do find them, all the insoles are missing. The practical jokes are kind of our mentality. One time I hid under the trundle bed while my wife was reading the kids a bedtime story. I was under there for a good 20 minutes, just chillin'. All of a sudden, there was a pause in the story, and I just started barking.really loud. My wife freaks out. My oldest son kind of freaked out. My youngest and my daughter were roaring with laughter.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
Not enjoying the 9 to 5?