Other cooking jobs. "When I decided to open my own place, I took a page from Charlie Trotter and started catering to potential customers. I also worked for a couple families as a personal chef and I was an on-call chef to three or four wineries. In the meantime, we built ourselves an espresso bar. It was a very hectic time."
Why he became a chef. "My dad was in advertising, so he took me out to dinner a lot, and I ate things like sweetbreads, lobster with gnocchi. I wanted to get a job where I could eat that kind of food, and have money to buy a new surfboard."
On opening Crush, which is in a 100-plus-year-old house. "My wife, Nicole, and I had to strip the house down to its bare bones; it was a crash course in how to run lighting and electricity and how to be a plumber."