Feb 11, 2013

Fans of TV’s Bravo Top Chef nicknamed Chef Chris “Malibu Chris” for the good looks and California charm that made him last season’s Fan Favorite.

Chef Chris is busy these days whipping up the menu at his newly opened restaurant, 41 Ocean in Santa Monica. 41 Ocean is a members-only dining club showcasing Chris’ unique blend of homey and haute cuisine.

He’ll be taking time away from the West Coast to visit with fans at the Birmingham Home and Garden Show on Friday, February 15 and Saturday, February 16. 

Before Chris flies out to Magic City, we hit him up with three burning questions on our minds:

1. While you're in Birmingham, what Southern foods/cuisine are looking forward to having that just don't taste the same in L.A. (or anywhere outside the South)?
I can't wait to dig into some smoked pork products. I've heard some good things about Jim 'N Nick's. I will definitely be hitting that up. I love Southern food! It is my favorite food group. There's just something about hot chunks of smoked meat that get me every time. 
2. Valentine's Day is coming up. What's your "go to" dish for when you want to impress your Valentine or a date?
Well, generally I'm working every Valentine’s Day, so I create my menus around fun, romantic food. My go to’s always seem to be oysters with untraditional accompaniments, like lime tapioca and caviar. I also always have to sneak in some dark chocolate somewhere. 

3. What five famous, historic people (dead or alive) would you love cook for at your new restaurant?
Jose Andres, he seems like such a fun chef, that is full of amazing stories. Beyonce - I mean did you see the Superbowl half time show? Justin Timberlake, because I just like to be surrounded by very down to earth friendly people. Anthony Bourdain,  and of course President Obama.