Chef Brian in his usual attire.
Chef Brian in his usual attire. Photo via Brian O'Connor.

Brian O'Connor learned to cook and bake because his mom couldn't hack it and he "was a fat kid who loved sweets." Though his mom left the kitchen to him, O'Connor's dad was the grill sergeant.

"It was always summer for him," O'Connor says. "He’d have me dig out the grill in the middle of upstate New York's frigid winters so he and I could char meats and hang out in snow drifts." 

O'Connor is the head chef for all things Huxley Wallace, but currently overseeing the kitchen at Hollywood Tavern. Since his first industry job—a glamorous post washing dishes at a hospital—he's worked in every corner of the country, including stops in New York City, Washington D.C., Florida, and California before settling down in Seattle.

The chefs he encountered along the way were "really cool, just cutting stuff up with big knives, talking [trash], listening to rock music, playing with fire, and having a great time back there." It's no wonder he's been working in kitchens ever since. 

Here are some of Brian O'Connor's favorite things: 

Hangover remedy: Hangovers aren't as easy to get rid of these days... My go to is bacon, a beer and some sunglasses.

Place to drink on a day off: I enjoy tasting beers with my boys from Binary Ape Fermenting. They have a smoked huckleberry saison that is life changing.

Recently splurged on: We just purchased a charcoal rotisserie grill for Hollywood Tavern. I'm looking forward to firing that up and roasting a whole pig.

On the wish list: A new Harley Davidson Road King.

Can't live without: Nothing is more important to me than family. My son Kian, my fiance Damiana, and our three crazy dogs are the best thing to come home to after a long day.

Work outfit: I've been wearing Dickie's shirts, black pants, clogs and a headband since 1999... Even when I'm not at work it seems to be my outfit of choice.

Breakfast dish: I enjoy over medium eggs, rye toast, butter and some of Damiana's fruit preserves.

Lunch spot: Scott and Melinda at Pho Aroma in West Seattle make the best bowl of Pho you will ever have. I eat there at least once a week no matter if it's hot or cold out. I crave their soup, it recharges my soul.

People I'd like to cook with [and why]: To be honest I have cooked with a lot of great chefs in my day, some were better than others but they all made me who I am today. For one day I would like to get them all in one spot to cook a big meal together and drink our faces off.

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