I’ve known of Chris Beckett for a handful of years as the Chef at Fish Gaucho. Well, as they say, times they are a changin’. Chris has some new things going on and I thought it would be cool to catch up with him and hear directly from him. Check out the below Q&A and be sure to support his work at Roots on Railroad when it opens as well as the catering that he and his partner are doing. As I’ve gotten to know him better, he really is a good dude and I think these new projects are going to be quite successful.
Follow along at their website and be sure to subscribe here.
Matt: Are you from Paso Robles originally? If not, where are you from?
Chris: Born and raised in Southern California. Spent 20 years growing up in SoCal. Last few years spent in Pasadena L.A. area. Came to the Central Coast in 2001. Lived in North County for over 15 years now.
Matt: Where did your love of food start? Was it a specific dish or a person that got you into it?
Chris: My love for food started at a very early age. I started cooking for myself and my brother. First few recipes I learned to perfect were Ramen, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti.
Matt: What was your first job in the food industry?
Chris: My first job was as an expediter at an Italian restaurant in Northridge.
Matt: What other positions have you held in the industry?
Chris: General Manager, host, manager, sous chef, and executive chef.
Matt: Did you go to school to become a chef or did you learn on the job?
Chris: What I did not learn in school I learned on the job. I graduated from Lake Cordon Bleu Culinary program in 2001.
Matt: I know you from working at Fish Gaucho, how long did you work there?
Chris: We opened the establishment in 2014. I created the cuisine theme there and recently resigned as executive chef from the company.
Chris: My philosophy with Roots On Railroad is revisiting street food and celebrating food quality while offering it at a modestly prepared price point.
Matt: What kind of food will you be creating?
Chris: Things I’d like to celebrate; lobster rolls, smash burgers, Ramen, seafood, items with Uni, black truffles and homemade pizza.
Matt: I also noticed you are doing prep meals for people, what’s the scoop on that?
Chris: My business partner and I are celebrating the quality of food and offering the convenience to every person for quality of life and respecting their time. We are offering high-quality food items that are prepared for the individual and soon to be prepared for all family members.
Matt: Do you have some favorite foods to make?
Chris: My favorite ingredient/ food to work with and eat is eggs.
Matt: What are some of your favorite places to eat in Paso that you aren’t involved in?
Chris: Il Cortile, Goshi, La Reyna.
Matt: When you’re not cooking, what do you enjoy doing in your off time…assuming you have any?
Chris: Man! I love being with my family. Work in some of my friends around dinner. That is my most coveted pastime. I love having dinner parties (that I’m not cooking for) or being a guest to.
I do love experiencing our lovely area we call home. It is so rich in hospitality and leisure. Our favorite getaway is the Madonna Inn. We love working our way around the guestrooms there and hanging out at the pool. We also love hanging out in Avila Beach, especially the farmers market on Friday.