Features Hit-Or-Miss

Get The Perfect Braise, According To Owner and Executive Chef, Rich Mead’s Useful Tips

Chef Rich Mead is a 35-year veteran in the culinary industry and has founded and spearheaded several Southern California restaurants such as Sage, Canyon, and Seventeenth Café. Active in both local farms and philanthropic efforts, Mead is involved with the Culinary Liberation Front, working to educate the public and local chefs about how and why they can do better supporting the mantra of local and sustainable.

On Sunday, February 26th I had the opportunity to speak with Owner and Executive Chef, Rich at his new restaurant ‘Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens’ in Corona Del Mar, CA discussing various topics like how to achieve the perfect braise, the importance of buying local and sustainable, and reducing food waste.

Photo Courtesy of Farmhouse

Tell us a little bit about Farmhouse and what you guys have going on over here.

Chef Rich: Farmhouse has been open since September 2016.  By being inside Roger’s Gardens, we’ve got a unique “field-to-fork” dining experience over here.  A lot of our ingredients come locally sourced as much as possible, delivering a fresher and more flavorful dining experience.


Photo by author

What is the importance of creating from locally sourced foods?

Chef Rich: Food will taste that much better! Knowing where your food comes from and knowing that its farm fresh and local, not some farm in the East you don’t know about.   There’s also the importance of supporting small businesses and families as well.  Having that connection with farmers at farmer’s markets, nourishing those relationships with people.


What tips can you give novice chefs and individuals who are inexperienced in the kitchen about braising and how to create the perfect braise? What are the uses of long and short braise?

Chef Rich: Low and Slow. Keep your temperature low and cook it slow. When your protein has reached the right doneness, fork tender, leave it in the braising liquid to cool before removing it. Also, if you can do the braise the day before you serve it, it will bring the flavors out and will also help firm up your protein.

A slow braise is used for meats that are more muscular muscles the animal will use often which in turn makes them harder to cook quickly at high heat. The long braise at a low temperature helps the collagen break down and in turn, the product will become tender and the braising liquid will intensify in flavor. A long braise is also great for vegetables like root veggies and fennel.

A short braise is used for chicken and seafood. The meat is easier to cook and more tender and doesn’t require a long period of time to cook. The braising method helps create a deeper more intensely flavored sauce by using the braising liquid.

Studies about food waste were conducted and it concluded that we throw away about 40% of our food. I know you mentioned that you try to reduce that number as much as possible in your restaurants by utilizing everything to its fullest extent. Do you have any tips for regular households on managing food waste?

It’s hard because the quantities of food you have to buy at times are larger than you might use to make a dish for only a couple of people. Also, most people don’t have the time to go to the grocery store every day to shop for their meals and because of that you may buy too much.

Try to buy what you’re going to use and plan your menu around the leftovers in your fridge. Maybe one or two days a week plan on making a meal with leftovers soups are always fun and having the right things in your pantry can help beef up your leftovers into a meal.

Just as a mom might do, our job as a chef often deals with how we use leftovers.  Of course our family meal is different than yours—we have a chance to use scraps and extras to feed our staff at the end of each shift.

What exciting things can we expect from you and Farmhouse in the near future?

As we begin to get our legs under us we are hoping to work into tasting menus which would allow us to have some specials as well as give repeat customers a chance to taste something new every time they come in.

We also are going to begin having dinners that might feature farmers, wines, cocktails and some things that will give us a chance to stretch a little and have some fun.

We are also going to run some fun specials at the bar for example we’ve been working on making biscuits with flour we mill from our friends at the Tehachapi Grain Project and these biscuits might be served with honey ginger butter, turkey sausage gravy and sausage biscuit sandwiches…and so much more.

Features Hit-Or-Miss

Get To Know The Winner Of ‘The Taste’, Chef Gabe Kennedy

Strolling about the picturesque grounds of the Culinary Institute of America (otherwise known as the CIA) in Napa, California, Chef Gabe Kennedy is looking completely at ease. You would never have known that just minutes before he had completed an hour-long tutorial on Panasonic’s new Countertop Induction Oven, pulling off three delicious dishes in a boiling hot kitchen, while trying to dance around a swarm of photo-hungry food bloggers.

As the reigning champ of competition cooking show, The Taste, Kennedy has been praised by chefs like Anthony Bourdain as “one of the best up-and-coming chefs of our time.” And after seeing what he can do with an induction oven, we can see why they’d think so.

This star in the making took the time to chat with Foodbeast about his cooking philosophy, his experience on The Taste, and what lies ahead for this visionary young chef.

Why don’t you tell us a little about where you come from, Gabe?

I’m originally from Boulder, Colorado, but now I’m a chef in Brooklyn. I moved there after I graduated with my Associates Degree from the CIA in Hyde Park, New York. After that, I went to The Cornell School of Hotel Administration for two and a half years to get my second degree. But, of course, cooking is my life’s passion.

It certainly shows. What would you say your philosophy is when it comes to cooking?

My ultimate goal and philosophy in cooking, and in life, is to use food as a catalyst for positive change. The job of a chef is to tell the story with food and to take some responsibility for that. After all, food is the most intimate interaction we have with each other. So I think as a chef, there’s a responsibility to harness that food and create positive change.


That’s interesting to consider food in such an intimate way.

Absolutely. For me it’s about building that time in your life to discover cooking as a practice, and to discover the joy of nourishing yourself and people that you love.

You mentioned in the CIO demo that you consider creating a dish is like creating music. How do the two connect?

The way I think of it is like this: one instrument sounds beautiful by itself, but with multiple instruments, a deeper piece of music can be created. So when I’m building a multi-faceted dish, I love to look at it like making a kind of music.

It’s having those bass notes, those undertones, having the mids, having the high notes, which are the acidic flavors and the herbs, they bring a lot of flavor and life-force to the dish. I love to follow this formula… although I hate to say the word “formula.” But there are always four flavors I look to highlight in a dish.

And what are those flavors?

I like to explore the flavors of salt, acid, texture, and heat. Together these highs and lows really make a dish more complex. This way of creating a song through food is something that I learned that from my mentor on The Taste, Marcus Samuelsson.


How does it feel knowing that chefs like Marcus and Anthony Bourdain have called you one of “the greatest up-and-coming chefs of our time.”

That’s an extremely sweet and humbling thing to say. Honestly, my experience on The Taste just came really at the right time in my life. Before the show, I was developing recipes for organic food and lifestyle brands. I was coming back from Romania when I got the casting call, which was hugely exciting for me; Anthony was the one who got me into the kitchen at 14 after I read his book, Kitchen Confidential. I realized that this is totally something I want to explore, so I quit both my jobs and moved to L.A. to do the show.

What a huge leap of faith.

It was a huge leap of faith, but I knew if I really threw myself into it, it could pay off. So I worked hard. I pulled out all the stops: I read cookbooks every night, I was meditating, I was journaling each day, I was taking care of myself physically so my mind would be sharp.

That must have been so stressful!

It was stressful to an extent, but when you’re really prepared, it’s not that scary. I become stressed when I know I didn’t do my part. I had given so much to this experience that I knew that if I didn’t win this, it was okay. I gave it all I could, I poured my whole heart and soul into it. So if I walked away the winner, hell yeah. But if not, I would be fine.

Since your big win on The Taste, you’ve had the chance to develop a line of coffee. Could you tell us a bit about it?


I just partnered with Groundwork to create a line of coffee called Honey Bee. The line is dedicated to bringing awareness to the importance of bees and other pollinators who are crucial to saving our ecosystem as a whole. But besides this being a great cause, we have some interesting stuff brewing! We have a single origin and a few blended coffees that I’m working on right now. People are really into the single origin, but I dig blended coffee.

Honey Bee isn’t the only thing you’re working on! Tell us about the TV show you’re hosting now, Dinner Spinner.

I had a really cool experience hosting Dinner Spinner! I always wanted to be an actor or musician — I fancy myself an entertainer. So this was an amazing opportunity for me. It’s a great show that inspires home cooks to explore, create, succeed, to make mistakes, and to celebrate their successes. The whole thing is just really cool.

Truthfully, this was a huge pipe dream that I had as a kid, and now I have it. I just feel really appreciative of it all, every single thing that has come into my life I am sincerely grateful for.


A big thank you to Chef Gabe Kennedy for chatting with us at the launch of Panasonic’s amazing Countertop Induction Oven! To purchase some Honey Bee coffee and learn more about Gabe, check out his website at

And catch Dinner Spinner on Saturday mornings at 11 EST on the CW.


Meet The Woman Who Changed Pizza Forever By Stuffing The Crust With Cheese


It seems like the concept of a stuffed crust pizza has been around for as long as we can remember. Who knew at one point, the idea of baking cheese inside a pizza crust would be so ridiculous that it would become an iconic practice in the decades to come?

We spoke to Patty Scheibmeir, the inventor of stuffed crust pizza, to see what brought on this inspired concept.

Back in the ’90s, Pizza Hut was the first to create the innovative dish. Before there were Internet Chefs stuffing foods into other foods, there was Patty.

Here’s what the pioneer had to say.


What made Pizza Hut want to create a stuffed crust pizza?

Actually, the invention of stuffed crust pizza wasn’t planned whatsoever. I guess you could call it a happy accident!

I had an “AHA” moment when a guy in a focus group told us that he didn’t eat his crusts and usually fed them to his dog. It was at that moment I realized that maybe we were putting too much emphasis on toppings and not giving enough love to the crust.

I wish I could tell you that I woke up one morning and thought to myself, “I’m going to invent a stuffed crust pizza today.” Real talk: If it weren’t for that guy in the focus group telling me he never ate the crusts, I might not have had the epiphany, at least right away, to start tinkering with the idea of a crust filled with cheese.

What did your bosses think about the idea when you came up with it? 

If I recall correctly, my bosses at Pizza Hut called me crazy, and then a genius and then crazy again. It took nearly three years for stuffed crust pizza to see the light of day, because they were so skeptical that customers wouldn’t go for it. That’s the biggest difference between working for Pizza Hut in the ’90s and working for a next gen fast casual pizza company like Pie Five Pizza (were she works) now.

Taking risks is part of our DNA, and we’re not afraid to push the boundaries when testing out new products. 

What was the process for making the crust?

All of my great ideas start in the kitchen with a few key ingredients and a big ball of dough. When I started experimenting with the idea of stuffed crust, I bought a whole bunch of string cheese at the grocery store and started rolling it into dough. It was an interesting test process, to say the least!

We went through A LOT of string cheese and dough. 


What did the first rounds of stuffed crust look like? Was it completely different than what we got?

Completely different is an understatement. The string cheese from the grocery store actually hardens really quickly once taken out of the oven, so it was a lot of work trying to make the cheese gooey.

I also had to work with our dough scientists (yes, those exist!) to create a dough that wouldn’t tear when we were wrapping it around the crust.

What ideas were too crazy for Pizza Hut during your time there? 

There were so many! I wanted to do a crust-less pizza, long before the low carb fad was even a thing. Obviously, that idea didn’t go anywhere.

I had an idea for a pizza cone that would fit in the car cup holder! Another was a waffle crust pizza that had melted cheese in the pockets. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if that one has been done already, considering how trendy it is nowadays to do food mashups. I also thought about a fried pizza – think state fair pizza where everything is fried.

What were your biggest inspirations?

I’m a big foodie! I love it all – ethnic cuisine, street food, fine dining and even fast food! My biggest inspiration comes from watching how people interact with their food and each other. People want to feel an emotional connection to what they eat, which gives me unlimited freedom to create new flavor profiles and products that wow our guests and keep the pizza industry innovative.


Patty now works at Pie Five Pizza where she is the Vice President of R&D. There, she’s still working on crazy pizza related creations. One of which is a pizza and enchilada hybrid.

Yep, that’s happening.



Confessions Of A Real Life Cafeteria Lunch Lady


Cafeterias hold a very special place in my heart, as they do many others who work, study or have spent time in one over the years.

They’re where many kids and adults alike receive human interaction during an otherwise potentially sterile day. And now thanks to this beautiful Q/A session with an anonymous, 21-year-old college cafeteria lady I found on Reddit, I’m now fixated on the beautiful, laughable and cringeworthy things she sees on a daily basis.

Let’s jump right in to the most interesting questions:

“I feel a lot for some of the kids that look so damn lonely”


Q:Do you worry about the kids who are on the free lunch program? Does it really enter into your mind that this might be the only decent meal they get that day, or is it just a matter of just another mouth to feed, don’t much care how/if they paid?

Lunch Lady: I work the main cafeteria at the college, so we really don’t have a free lunch program. Most of the kids I serve are fresh out of high school and on loans or scholarships which include a meal plan. I don’t worry much for them in that they won’t be fed.

I feel a lot for some of the kids that look so damn lonely.

I have a few regulars that come in and stay in my line as long as they can before I have to tell them they have to go eat so that I won’t get into trouble for talking.

I remember when I first started college, the lunch ladies and food service staff were the people I talked to the most since I used to be really shy and obviously in the wrong area of study and unhappy. I try to be as friendly as possible in case I happen to come across a student that’s as lonely as I was. I have to tell myself that they’ll get better and open up eventually as I did. But, for now, I do what I can to let them know that at least one person is listening.

Q: Wait, “trouble for talking”? In a college cafeteria?

Lunch Lady: It happens in almost all workplaces. If you have someone stand near you holding a conversation for a long time, it’s viewed as a distraction and not paying enough attention to your job.


I had a girl tell me I was pathetic to work in a cafeteria.


Q: Do you regularly get rude comments from students just for being a lunch lady?

Lunch Lady: Not as many as I expected to get when I was hired. I mostly get complaints when I have to run to the kitchen to get more food, and about the small portions that I’m required to give.

I’ve had a few really rough ones though. I had a girl come through my line once early last semester and tell me that she thought it was really pathetic that I had to work in a cafeteria for a living to compensate for having to drop out of college.

I happened to be serving fajitas that day, and after her speech as I handed her her plate she asked me if she could get extra chicken. I laughed, and told her not to bite the hands that fed her.


Why are you required to give certain portions when most college mess halls are unlimited eats upon entry?


Q: Why are you required to give certain portions? I’m in college where we all have unlimited meal plans. I don’t understand why I can’t have six more chicken nuggets without grabbing a second plate.

Random Response: Because they hope you’ll finish that plate and say “Ah fuyck it, I’m done” instead of going up for seconds

Lunch Lady: (in response to the above) That too. Cuts down on waste.

Lunch Lady: It’s a production/inventory thing.

Health codes require us to measure out serving sizes which are counted to see how much of that certain food should be ordered for the next shipment. It’s also so that we don’t run out of food as fast.

When there are a lot of students in line, we can’t dump three servings of food on every plate. We would be giving out faster than we can prepare, and that looks bad on performance. Especially when there are big-wigs walking about. When there isn’t food out, we get into a LOT of trouble.


Lunch ladies appreciate you trying to make them smile


Statement: I always make the effort to talk to the lunch ladies and get you girls to smile 🙂 

Lunch Lady: We appreciate people like you! Thank YOU for being awesome!! 😀

Q: Do ever just look at the kids you serve and fear for the future of the world?

Lunch Lady: Every day.


The anonymous apology…

Redditor Effex: When I was in Junior High, me and a few hipster classmates would “rebel” and be complete assholes to all of the school staff members. Lunch ladies would be at the top of our list, because it was easy. We would do typical, dumb, obnoxious 12-year-old crap like shout profanities, make fun of, and just generally be disrespectful.

A particular day stands out in my mind above all the others – I was in line to get lunch and getting ready to harass the lunch ladies, one of my classmates was in front of me and we both went up to get served. He extends his tray, but as he does, the lunch lady accidentally misses her scoop of lasagna, and it falls on his sneakers. This kid, in half a second, becomes so furious, but also so excited that he can now take revenge on the lunch lady, that he picks up the lasagna, and flings it in her face.

The kid got suspended, but it wasn’t even about that. It was the look on her face. Complete and utter embarrassment. Shame. Sadness. I instantly thought of my mother, as she was about her age, and it made me tear up.

I stopped being disrespectful after that day, and every time I think back, I just cant forget that face.

On behalf of all of the immature, obnoxious kids out there: I apologize.

Lunch Lady: God, I’m tearing up just imagining it. And thank you for the apology. It does mean a lot.


Q: What is your favorite school lunch meal?


Lunch Lady: I love making fried rice! It’s a very popular dish, and it takes a long time to cook, so I have time to talk. (I sometimes have to cook in front of the kids. My line is like a hibachi bar of sorts every now and again. Fried rice is messy as hell, but a lot of fun at the same time.)

Q: What food seems to be the one that most kids dislike?

Lunch Lady: Mediterranean food. Hummus, Falafel, Gyros, Tabbouleh, Baba Ghanoush, etc.

Q: One time I took an extra grilled cheese when you weren’t looking. You mad?

Lunch Lady: Absolutely! Kids being smug about it and stealing things is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. If you want another sandwich, just ask me. If there isn’t a manager around, I’ll give you one. I honestly don’t care to give you more than that if you want it, as long as you don’t get me into trouble.

CrunchyLumpia: A few of my friends (not me) used to smuggle entire pies out of the dining hall in their backpacks. The next year, dessert was no longer self-serve.

Lunch Lady: That’s kinda funny actually. I never took whole pies, but I remember taking a pineapple once before I worked there.


Q: Have you ever spat in the food of one of the kids who treated you like crap?


Lunch Lady: I’ve been very tempted to on multiple occasions. Instead, I just give them really small portions of what they ask for so that I don’t get in trouble, and they’re still irritated. 😛

Q: When serving people, do you give nicer, prettier, skinnier people bigger portions?


Lunch Lady: The nice ones, absolutely.

And I’ll sometimes give the “prettier” ones more – that’s just human nature, I think. The more attractive you are, the better you will be treated. I don’t go out of my way to make it a life-changing experience, but I do let them get away with a bit more. I do it also for the kids that look like they’re having a shitty day.

I try to help out anyone that I can.

Q: Would you eat the food you serve? Do you think it’s particularly nutritious? If you could change one thing about school lunches, what would they be?

Lunch Lady: I eat it every day. And it’s balanced nutritionally. We don’t use a lot of processed crap where I work. There are a few things that I’m not particularly fond of – there’s a sauce we use for sweet’n sour dishes that is a little questionable, but that’s about all I can think of atm. And I don’t know if I’d really change anything. I like the way we do things now.


Most of my food comes from work


Lunch Lady: I have to be really shady about it though. We have a policy that we aren’t supposed to leave with food without paying for a whole meal (it’s a buffet in my building) which is way beyond reasonable.

Short side story: last semester I came in on a day I didn’t work and got one of those nasty fish sandwich squares, and our crazy register troll saw me, called the location manager, and I had to come back and drop 8 dollars on one lousy piece of fish product. It was the end of the semester so there wasn’t anything else to eat when I came back. I was very upset.)

I take out food in paper cups so it looks like I’m taking out soda on the cameras. When I don’t bring stuff back home, I have some home canned vegetables and the basics — eggs, milk, bread. In short, I don’t eat much when I’m not at work.

Also, since I have such a sad income, I qualify for food stamps. I don’t get much, but it’s enough to get me through the weekends.

In conclusion: have respect for all, especially those feeding you.

Note: Stories/Questions/Answers edited for grammar, punctuation and context.


Why Charles Schwab’s CEO Likes to Test Job Candidates By Pranking Them at Restaurants


Interviews can be a dull and tedious process for employers, which is why they sometimes get creative by testing applicants in weird and unusual ways.

Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger recently revealed his strange test for candidates aspiring to work for the iconic brokerage and banking firm. He told the New York Times that each new hire that he has taken on his team has gone through a special breakfast interview.

What these potential interviewees don’t know is that Bettinger has gone the extra mile to arrive early at the restaurant and request the manager to mess up the order in exchange for a generous tip. Though the whole scenario may seem a bit quirky, Bettinger explains that he’s able to gauge a person’s character by how they react to adversity.

In this situation, the “wrong order” is representative of the adversity. The way prospective hires react give Bettinger insight into their inner workings. He said:

“What I’m looking for is whether their view of the world really revolves around others, or whether it revolves around them and I’ll ask then about their greatest failures in their life and see whether they own them or whether they were somebody else’s fault.

“Are they upset, are they frustrated, or are they understanding? Life is like that, and business is like that. It’s just another way to look inside their heart rather than their head. We’re all going to make mistakes. The question is how are we going to recover when we make them, and are we going to be respectful to others when they make them?”

More NextShark Stories: One Craigslist Post Reveals Just How Bad the Rent is in San Francisco

Bettinger has also been tested in peculiar ways before while in college. He recalled having maintained a perfect 4.0 average all the way through his senior year until he was faced with a final exam for his business strategy course. Though he had spent numerous hours studying and memorizing formulas for the case studies — it all failed him.

His professor handed out a blank piece of paper for the final exam and explained that he had taught them everything he could about business in the past 10 weeks, but the most important message and question was whether they knew the name of the lady who cleaned the building. Bettinger admitted:

“And that had a powerful impact. It was the only test I ever failed, and I got the B I deserved. Her name was Dottie, and I didn’t know Dottie. I’d seen her, but I’d never taken the time to ask her name. I’ve tried to know every Dottie I’ve worked with ever since.

“It was just a great reminder of what really matters in life, and that you should never lose sight of people who do the real work.”

Written by Editorial Staff, NextShark


8 Awesome Food Habits Tracy Morgan Just Revealed to the World


Tracy Morgan stopped by Reddit today for a little heart to heart. The occasion? His new spot on Comedy Central, Bona Fide, and his new stand up tour Turn It Funny. But enough about that, you came here to read about his undying love for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and how good women make lasagna with six different cheeses.

Also, creamy peanut butter > chunky peanut butter. Because Tracy Morgan said so.


If Tracy Morgan had to pick between a waffle or a pizza, he’d pick a waffle pizza. He must read Foodbeast.


His favorite food to eat is the Big Mac.



Tracy agrees that good women make lasagna with six different cheeses



He wants us to know that poor Uncle Jemima’s syrup never made it on shelves… but damn was it “buttery.”


 His favorite pop-tart flavor is #chocolatechocolatechocolate



Tracy Morgan will not tell you where to get his favorite pizza.




Tracy Morgan agrees with Foodbeast that creamy peanut butter will — and will always be — better than chunky.



He’s eating filet mignon with spinach for dinner tonight. Because he’s Tracy fucking Morgan.



Kat Cole, CEO of Cinnabon, Defends Gen Y and Says Women Need to Stop Being Perfectionists


Kat Cole is the 35-year old president of Cinnabon, who begin as an engineering major who worked at Hooters to pay for college.

You might have heard of Kat Cole before under headlines like “How a Former Hooter’s Waitress Became Cinnabon’s President,” but we found much more than what an interesting headline told us. Kat is the product of a hard working single mother, one of three daughters growing up on a $10 a week food budget in Jacksonville, Florida. The amazing story starts with what Kat learned in those challenging years growing up that made her an intelligent and ambitious woman that rose quickly in corporate America. Today she manages a billion dollar a year company, works to help women and bring water to villages in Rwanda and Ethiopia, and is poised to be one of the greatest role models for women everywhere who aspire to succeed in a business world mostly dominated by men.

We had the great pleasure of sitting down with Kat for a conversation on the importance of street smarts, how corporate America views Gen Y, what it’s like being an undercover boss, and how women should think to be more successful in the business world.

Watch our interview with Kat, the CEO of Cinnabon, below.


How the In-N-Out Double Double Ruined This Man’s Life [COMIC]


To say Mike Royer of Pickled Comics loved In-N-Out is an understatement. The love between this man and an In-N-Out Double Double became so great that Mike decided to create a cartoon chronicling the epic tale of his discovery of the California burger chain. What started off as a glorious encounter quickly turned obsessive and downright ruinous.

On the bright side, it makes for a pretty awesome comic that proves as a cautionary tale for those of you hell-bent on In-N-Out morning, noon and night. Check out Mike’s brilliant work below and keep reading on for a quick interview with Foodbeast.

DD 02


DD 03


DD 04


DD 05


DD 06


DD 07


DD 08


How much of this comic is based on your actual experience with In-N-Out?

Well the deep deep love for The Double Double conveyed in the comic is very real. But luckily, the burger has yet to put me out on the streets. Though, it is truly hard to not think about how many burgers I could get for the price of one movie ticket in Los Angeles.

Do you still eat In-N-Out or are you completely cold turkey?

I live in Los Angeles so the temptation is all around me. But when friends come to town I always use their visit as an excuse to drop in on In-N-Out. I guess I shouldn’t be calling them friends anymore. I think I’m suppose to call them enablers.

Are you still with your girlfriend?

She’s actually going to marry me now haha! I made sure the ring was big enough to distract her whenever I suggest In-N-Out for dinner.

When did you officially hit rock bottom?

I had some of my engagement photos taken at In-N-Out with my fiancée not too long ago. I think it’s safe to say some may consider that rock bottom.

When did you start drawing cartoons? What are your influences?

I officially started making Pickled Comics around the middle of 2013 but some of my best work resides in spiral bound notebooks from middle school. Page after page of little stick figures battling out to the death. Ok, so maybe not my best work. I grew up reading Fox Trot and Calvin and Hobbes. So Bill Amend and Bill Watterson have been a huge influence on my entire life. But in the end it was The Oatmeal and Matthew Inman that motivated me to start putting my work on the internet.

Have you’ve ever heard/had a Monkey Style Burger?

Does eating Animal Fries and a Double Double so fast they appear to merge into one entity count? The secret menu is my bucket list. It’s only a matter of time!


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