Sit Down with Chef Chef Brian Huskey for a 5-Star Taste at a Price You’ll Love Tackle Box
Written By: Priscilla Ng Tackle Box
The Expert: Brian Huskey
Credentials: Owner and Chef at Tackle Box
Chef Brian Huskey was one of the top five finalists for Top Chef, Season 11. He’s from Pasadena and has a background in economics. After graduating from UCLA, he decided to dive into the culinary field after working as a short order cook in LA. He earned a degree at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and climbed his way up the culinary ladder to stardom. After being featured on Top Chef, he received multiple offers to become the executive chef at many high-end restaurants. Since then, he has worked as Chef de Cuisine of LA Prime at the Westin Bonaventure, Executive Chef for Room Forty, and has also helped start up three new restaurants: Picca, Mo-Chica and Paiche. He now has his own restaurant called Tackle Box, just off the coast of Corona Del Mar.
Brian Huskey’s interest in cooking began at a very young age when he used to travel with his parents. As a kid, Huskey felt blessed to have been able to visit Asia, South America and Europe, which opened up his view of the world and sparked his interest in food. “Food is a great vehicle to connect with people, ” he says, and that became his source of inspiration.
Here in Orange County, Tackle Box has been open for about a year. The concept behind it is being able to serve food of the same quality as what you would have at a fine-dining restaurant, but at a much more reasonable price. “Anyone can create a great experience with lobster and caviar, but can you do that for everyday products like chicken and salmon? That’s the idea. My concept is to change the perception of what $20 can get you. Here at Tackle Box, you can get a fresh sandwich, house made chips and a drink all for a reasonable price.”
There are many popular dishes at Tackle Box, and about a dozen in-house sauces that go with their designated dishes, like the salmon poke, buffalo cauliflower, cheesesteak and lobster roll. Huskey’s secret ingredient? “I put a lot of love in all them, ” he says with a laugh.
“To work in this industry, it’s very hard. There are a lot of long hours. But in general, life isn’t easy. It’s a struggle, but it makes it that much more special. The key is being humble, working hard and being patient.”
The Wandering Chef: Some of Huskey’s favorite restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County are Bestia, Newport Seafood Restaurant, Jitalda, Tito Taco, Kan Hodon Baekjeong, Osteria Vicario, Crab Cooker and Koi Sushi Restaurant.
Long Walks on the Beach: Growing up in Los Angeles, Huskey loves going to the beach and calls himself a beach bum. He also likes to take his dog, Titan, out for walks.
“After being on Top Chef, the biggest thing I learned is to stay true to yourself. What I mean by that is that at Tackle Box, I’m having so much fun with it. Yeah, it’s not refined, but it’s true to myself in execution and profile.”
3029 E. Shore Ave
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625