We had a quick interview with Jude Parra-Sickels, the Executive Chef at POT and he was able to give us some insights into what it takes to be in the restaurant industry.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
What He Does: Executive Chef at POT in the LINE Hotel
- How did you end up at POT?
I’ve been working with Roy Choi now for about 5 years. I was the chef de cuisine at A-Frame, and also at Sunny Spot. So coming over to this project was just a natural progression and I’ve been on it for almost 2 years. I was the opening Executive Chef here at POT.
- Were there a lot of changes when you started the restaurant?
The hotel went through a complete remodel. The kitchen was completely torn out and redone; floor, walls, equipment…everything.
- What’s the best part about being at POT?
I love our food. I’m proud of our food. It makes me happy to serve it to people every day. And I like being a part of the hustle and bustle of the hotel space. And also, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a little bit with this job. We were able to go and cook in Copenhagen at the MAD Symposium and also travel to New Orleans to do a dinner out there with Emeril.
- Any new restaurant trends?
Between work and my kids, I don’t get to get out to restaurants as much as I would like. I try to follow and stay up as much as I can. Not that it’s not out there and happening, but I don’t think I’m the best person to comment on that.
- If you could go back to the beginning of your career, is there a tip that you would give yourself? Or perhaps for a young chef or someone interested in cooking?
What I would say is to start young, but also be ready in your personal maturity and growth. I’ve seen a lot of young cooks who had talent or good opportunities who squandered it. Because even though they might have been in an amazing position, they were too young and stupid to realize it and capture their opportunities. The younger you start, the more advantages you have later in your career, but you have to be ready spiritually to set out on this journey. And that can be difficult for a young person to see that far down the road.
- What age did you get started cooking?
I was probably mid-20s.
- What is the biggest challenge of working in a restaurant?
The biggest challenge I guess is just consistency, and all the things that go into that. And when I say consistency, I don’t only mean having food come out at a high level consistently, [even though] that’s certainly a huge part of it. But in order to have your food come out at a consistently high level, you have to be consistent in your day to day operations; in your habits, in your staffing, training and every movement you make. Honing in on a routine and practice that will result in a high quality product. [And] tying all that together, which involves a lot of moving parts; people, ordering, organization, cleaning and everything that is coming and going.
Our "Ask the Chef" series talks to chefs, food bloggers, and creative foodies to learn about their inspirations, tips, thoughts on cuisine, and more. We'll be bringing you a variety of new guests and the topics that keep them cooking. Do you know someone that should be featured, or questions you think we should ask? Message Us!Read More