On the Line: Rich Mead, Chef/Owner of Sage and Sage on the Coast

Three decades ago, Mead ditched his job at the IRS in Washington, DC, and moved to the west coast to pursue his culinary dreams.

After opening restaurants in and around LA, he set his sights further south, launching Sage in Newport Beach in 1997. Seven years later came a posher sibling, Sage on the Coast. Mead is a fan of fresh, seasonal ingredients: If you get a chance, try his tasting menus.

Here he talks about his last meal on earth–great choices!–and love-him-or-hate-him Guy Fieri (it's not hard to tell which side of the fence he's on).

1.  Dish that you cook that most represents you.

Our Herb Roast Half Chicken. It's simple, and much like myself–crispy on the outside but moist and juicy on the inside.

2.  What was the last meal you had at home?

Toasted english muffin with peanut butter and yogurt with strawberries and bananas.

3.  Your favorite restaurant (other than yours):
Slanted Door in San Francisco.

4.  Fast food guilty pleasure:

Any pizza sold by the slice.

5.  Complete this sentence:  I would like to [verb] [Food Network Star] with [noun].
I would like to join Guy Fieri as he does his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with mucho gusto.

6.  Last meal of your life, what would it be?

A Hong Kong style dim sum tasting menu served with hot mustard, soy sauce and chile paste, hot tea and cold beer.

7.  Items you always have in your refrigerator:

Mustards, hot sauces, Worker Bee honeys, bottled water, english muffins, peanut butter and yogurt.

8.  Your most indispensable kitchen tool or appliance:

My hands.

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