On The Line: Timothy Kast of Seasons 52, Part Two

Today we continue our Q&A with Timothy Kast, the executive chef partner at Seasons 52 in South Coast Plaza.

Stay tuned for a recipe from the chef tomorrow.

If you missed the first part, click here.

What show would you pitch to the Food Network?
Healthy cooking from scratch for singles and young adults.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten:
Cricket Cake, it was a chocolate cake sprinkled with crickets then covered with a rich chocolate ganash.


You're making an omelet. What's in it?
Egg whites, Canadian bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and a touch of garlic, finished with sliced avocado.

You're at the market. What do you buy two of?

Weirdest customer request:
A prime filet mignon topped with roasted habanero peppers. Can you even taste food after eating that many habaneros?

Favorite OC restaurant(s) other than your own:
Charlie Palmer for fine dining and Taco Loco when I am in the tank top and sandals

Hardest lesson you've learned:
That life has no beginning and no end; there is only passion.

What would the last meal on Earth be?
BBQ ribs.

Who's your hero? Culinary or otherwise?
I have always wanted to delve into Indian cuisine. There are so many bold and unexpected flavor combinations.

Seasons 52 is the first, if not the only, restaurant in OC to self-impose a fixed calorie limit on dishes. What's the most difficult part about keeping everything under 475 calories?
Making sure our guests leave feeling full and satisfied. People that have never dined at Seasons 52 might assume that our portions are small. But once they see the plate come to the table, all assumptions are thrown out the window.

What dish would you tell newcomers to try first?
Our signature flatbreads are the perfect beginning. For an entrée, you cannot go wrong with our oak grilled caramelized sea scallops served with sun-dried tomato pearl pasta and fresh roasted asparagus. You must end the meal with one of our award winning mini indulgences. My favorite is the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Swirl.

So what were you doing before you came to Seasons 52, that is, what's your background, culinary or otherwise?
Before Seasons 52, I was the executive sous chef for one of Southern California's premier steakhouses, 555 East in Long Beach. Prior to that, I was the corporate executive chef for Turner New Zealand restaurant group, mainly working out of its flagship restaurant here in Costa Mesa.

What's the most high-fat, high-calorie thing you are capable of making or have made?
We have one or two dishes that come close to the 475 promise here at Seasons 52. The goat cheese stuffed ravioli lunch entrée is so rich and creamy that you wouldn't believe it was fewer than 475.

What advice do you have for those that might be thinking about starting a career in food?
Understand that you must start from the bottom and put in years of hard work at minimal pay before you see any advancement.

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? 10 years?
Wherever life takes me

Seasons 52 at South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol Ave., Ste. 2802, Costa Mesa, (714) 437-5252; www.seasons52.com. Open Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Dinner for two, $50-$75, food only. Full bar.

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