On the Line: Scott McVean of PdM Kitchen, Part Two

Scott McVean's household lives on a ranchette– acres above most homeowners, yet modest by Montana standards. Between seven kids, a lovely wife and animals galore, he finds sanity away from the hustle and bustle we're accustomed to.

Read our interview with Scott McVean of PdM Kitchen, part one.
And now, on to part two . . .

Last song playing on your radio:
Route 66 by Depeche Mode.

What were you up to five years ago?

My life was similar to today, but running three PdM locations and splitting my time between Orange County and my farm in Montana. There was Fashion Island, Corona del Mar and Balboa (which closed in 2010). I've since opened Dana Point, a second Newport Beach location off Bristol and Jamboree, and Irvine.


Where did you grow up? If you're not from Orange County, what brought you here?
I was born in Southern California, living in Covina until I was eight. My family moved to Amarillo, Texas, where my Dad bought the second-ever McDonald's franchise in Texas. He ultimately had 10 locations. I came back to California (Balboa, specifically) when I was 24. I didn't like Texas, and couldn't wait to come back.

What's your favorite childhood memory?

Hanging out and eating at my Dad's McDonald's.

Hardest lesson you've learned:

Opening stores that don't succeed. As they say, location is everything.

When you're not in the restaurant, what are you doing in your free time?
Taking care of my farm in Montana. I also enjoy fly fishing.

Last book read or movie watched.

I recently read Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly and took my family to see Saving Mr. Banks.

Last thing you looked up online:

Various restaurant menus. I like seeing what other restauranteurs and chefs are doing.

What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
I have never seen myself in anything but food service. Even if it wasn't creating PdM Kitchen, I probably would have stayed in Texas and followed in my Dad's foodsteps, running a bunch of McDonald's.

Do you have any skills that are non-food related?

Aside from running a farm? Building and fixing things.

Is there anything you'd like readers to know that we haven't asked?
I take a lot of care in buying fresh, organic produce, selecting cuts of meat and generally finding purveyors who have sustainable practices. We have an exhibition-style kitchen, so customers can see their food being freshly prepared. Customers enjoy that. Food preparation and cooking is like theater for foodies, or people who simply care about where their food comes from. We adjust the menu based on what's seasonal and customer feedback. Also, we recently introduced Mexican dishes for Taco Tuesday and plan to launch happy hour specials soon.

PdM Kitchen is located at 5781 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, (949) 336-6292; www.pdmcafe.com.

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