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Chef’s Corner: Ross Pangilinan

In this edition of Chef’s Corner, we caught up with Ross Pangilinan, executive chef at Leatherby's Cafe Rouge at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, Calif.
Leatherby’s Café Rouge at Segerstrom for the Arts is under the umbrella of Patina Restaurant Group, which in May 2014 became part of Delaware North.
Words that describe you
Dad, husband, chef, food lover, golfer, focused, Tennessee Titans fan, fantasy football champ.rosspangilinan360-4110244
How did you get into cooking?
I loved cooking shows as a young kid, and my dad exposed me to many different cuisines growing up. Also loved my grandparents cooking!
Words that describe your food
Tasty, beautiful, textures, fresh and evolving.
Describe your approach to menu creation
The first thing is it always depends on what ingredients are or will be in peak season. From there, inspiration comes from everywhere. If I am creating a themed menu for a Broadway show, I may be inspired by things I've see on TV, read in books, magazines, social media, the internet or places I've visited, things I've tasted, flavor profiles that I want to put together, etc.  
Your favorite moment at Patina Restaurant Group
One of my favorite moments was being on Zagat’s first ever “30 under 30” list for Los Angeles in 2012.   
Craziest thing you've ever eaten
Deep-fried, one-day-old chicks in the Philippines. The bones are still soft, so you eat the whole thing – including the face and skull. 
Your favorite memory
My favorite memories are catering my own wedding and the birth of my children!
Your least favorite food
I have a ketchup phobia. 
The hardest cooking lesson you ever received
When I worked in a two-star Michelin restaurant, Les Trois Marché, in Versailles, France, I was plating fish and very confident, so I put two pieces of fish on my spatula. The chef de partie saw me and said, “Just put one on at a time.” At that very moment, I dropped the second piece on the floor. I learned every bad French name that day.
Heroes (cooking or otherwise)
My dad and mom; they came to the U.S. and gave my brothers and I the opportunity to be successful.