Sean Chaney, Chef/Co-Owner, Hot’s Kitchen

Our South Bay
August 2011

Sean Chaney of Hots Kitchen

Hot’s Kitchen is a casual neighborhood gastro-pub by the beach with an open-air setting, amazing artwork by local artist Bo Bridges and a hip, friendly vibe. Overseen by chef/co-owner Sean Chaney and his staff of 36, the food is “beach gourmet”: small-plate dining, an impressive list of burgers and plenty of other items. The restaurant features a broad selection of wines and craft beers chosen by beverage director Mike Siordia. About 15 years ago, Chef Sean began his culinary career as a personal chef for professional athletes and executive clients and as a caterer for VIP clients on their private jets. His culinary skills are self-taught, and he enjoys adding his own flavor variations to basic, traditional dishes. He prefers healthy, delicious food to anything pretentious. Chef Sean has lived in Southern California his entire life, moving to the South Bay with his wife and daughter more than two years ago. “We came to the South Bay for many of the reasons everyone is here today—a fantastic lifestyle that includes the beach, a strong sense of community, camaraderie and home,” says the chef. “And it was the perfect fit for our new restaurant. We’re very happy here!”

What is your cooking style?
“I love putting flavors together which aren’t typically paired. For example, we recently filled morel mushrooms with our cornbread and seasoned duck. The flavor is insane but still unintimidating.”

Was there a defining moment in your career that guided you to where you are now?
“I wouldn’t say there was one defining moment, but more of a series of moments. In 1999, one of my very good friends, Greg Moore, was killed in a racing accident at Los Angeles Motor Speedway. I took his death particularly hard; he was taken from us so suddenly and at such a young age. I thought about Greg doing what he loved to do—his dream job, which was living life at full speed on the track. I realized at that moment that I had to live my dream too. I continuously received praise for the food I was cooking for both clients and friends. With overwhelming encouragement, I built a restaurant with the vision of it being exactly where my friends and I would hang out.”

Is there a new-to-you ingredient you’ve been using this year?
“At Hot’s, one of the local farmers we support is also a good friend, Matt Parker, owner of Shittake Happens. Matt introduced us to so many new kinds of mushrooms, and we’ve incorporated a number of varietals into our menu, based on seasonality. What we are doing with these various mushrooms is new to me, and it appears to be working with our guests, too—they love our creative ‘shrooms!’”

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