Do you have any advice for future chefs?
"It is a tough job, don’t get discouraged. Do not let yourself give up easily. With each day that passes it gets better than yesterday. Do not let someone tell you that if you can’t handle the heat to get out of the kitchen. You can handle the heat; you just might not know it yet!"
Has there been anything that tested your motivation as chef? If so how did you overcome it?
"I have a wonderful daughter. The hardest part of my day is having to leave her to go to work. I would much rather spend my days with her but if I don’t go make that bacon then who will provide for her. She is my motivation and at the same time I would love to have more hours in the day to be with her. Between work, and family it is a balancing act."
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
"I see myself in two scenarios. One, I own a bed and breakfast where the business would be run to my highest of standards. Two, I would love to own a farm to, so I can harvest the freshest crops and raise livestock. Either way whether it be my farm or bed and breakfast I would have the freshest top quality mouthwatering dishes done my way, on my time, in my place. It would be a trifecta of perfection."
Can you describe for me a go-to dummy proof recipe?
Equal parts lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil...
Season to your liking."
What are your five favorite ingredients to work with?
"1. Booze; Wine or Alcohol
What kind of chef do you want to be recognized as?
"I think everyone wants to be recognized for the good that they do, I am no different. Being a well-respected chef is what I aim to be recognized as because I hold my kitchen to a high standard and I expect my crew to produce top quality food as well as service."
What is the most interesting thing about you that we would not learn from your resume alone?
"I have been through a lot in my life but there is nothing that keeps me from achieving my dreams. Even in the darkest days I can see the light."
What are you known for?
"I am known for being a leader. I am a bit of a hard ass at times but to be at the top of my game I must uphold my crew to the same quality as I would have for myself, which means calling my crew out on their bullshit and expecting them to handle it like professionals. I don’t like getting mad at my crew but if one of them steps out of line I will be the first person to be all over them about it."
A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a kimono. What does he say and why is he here?
"The Penguin would politely ask, “Where is the sushi at, Chef?” He is in the kitchen because he wants the freshest fish in the fastest way."
Word on the street is chefs can drink. My question to you who drinks more, a chef or a fish?
"A chef all day, every damn day!"
To taste the fantastic dishes made by Chef Monterroso please visit the Doheny Room in West Hollywood. The Doheny Room is located at 9077 California Route 2, the phone number is (424) 777-0266, and the website is Dohenyroom.com. Look for the bright blue building, and follow the sweet scent of good food that lingers in the air.