Los Angeles is home to many of the best chefs and restaurants in the nation, and not to mention some of the biggest ‘foodies’. A city built upon dreams, dreamers, and harsh reality- Los Angeles is needless to say a city that never sleeps. This is undeniably true about Chef Ronnie Woo, graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, founder of ‘The Delicious Cook’, and LA’s newest and hottest additions to the ‘must see’ chef list. Chef Ronnie Woo may be ‘new to the scene’, but he is making his mark both in and out of the kitchen.
This chef will have your taste buds going into overload as he uses the freshest ingredients paired with savory spices. He has even cooked for some of Hollywoods’ elite such as: Jessica Alba, Kathy Griffin, Dita Von Teese, Nancy O’Dell, Gilles Marini, Holly Robinson Peete, Vivica A. Fox, Leah Remini, and Laila Ali. Chef Ronnie Woo, a Seattle native, sits down and discusses his life before deciding to become a chef, The Delicious Cook, his inspirations, and his vision for the future.
The following has been edited for continuity purposes.
Meagan Sargent: When did you realize you wanted to become a chef?
Ronnie Woo: It took me two masters’ degrees to realize that I wasn’t happy or feeling fulfilled in my professional pursuits. I grew up in a family where everything revolved around good food, whether it was travel or the weekly meals my mom would make and I always knew cooking was the one thing that I whole-heartedly loved doing. One day, a few years back, I decided that I was going to take a chance, pursue my true passion, and become a chef! And so it began…
MS: Congrats on your achievements thus far! I know you are sort of 'new in the game' as it's been a little over two years and you are already making a huge name for yourself! If you were to look back five years, would you ever imagined you'd be where you are now?
RW: Thank you!! I would have never thought that I would be where I was today. However, I think when you do what you love, it shows in the quality of your work and people recognize that. I guess all the hard work is paying off!
MS: I remember you saying you were a model before becoming a chef. What was the turning point?
RW: Modeling was something that I wanted to do from an early age and once I got to experience the life of a model for a few years, I think it lost it’s mystique and glamour. Besides, I knew modeling was not something I wanted to (nor could) do my whole life. I wouldn’t say that there was any specific turning point, but I will say that after I became a chef, it was definitely nice to be able to pursue my passion, hone my true talent, and eat when I wanted to!!
MS: Words of advice to anyone wanting to get into the culinary field?
RW: Don’t be intimidated! Just hone your craft, do your thing and people will see and appreciate your talent.
MS: What distinguishes you from the other chefs/cooks out there? And why do you think 'Hollywood' has taken such a quick 'liking' to you and your brand?
RW: I think the biggest thing about me is that I’m not trying to be like anybody else. I am definitely inspired by other talented chefs, but at the same time, I want to be successful doing what I do, not trying to imitate another culinary artist. I think “Hollywood” recognizes that I’m pretty chill and that I offer something new and refreshing. And I’m pretty fun to be around!
MS: Being in LA I feel like this is a competitive market to submerge yourself into, we are surrounded by gourmet meals and fresh foods-what makes your creations different.
RW: I think that if we are using fresh, seasonal, and wholesome ingredients, the food will speak for itself. My dishes have no restrictions, but I do believe that the ingredients I use organically translate into healthier and delicious creations. In addition, I specialize in intimate four-star dinner parties, so I am bringing a unique dining experience into someone’s home.
MS: What is your inspiration (for both life as well as cooking/chef inspiration).
RW: My fiancé and my family are my inspiration. I am who I am because of them!
MS: What is your 'go to' food
RW: I love chicken and kale.
MS: What is your guilty pleasure?
RW: A big bowl of pasta.
MS: Everyone has been raving about the importance of using local produce, would you agree? Why?
RW: Yes, I would absolutely agree! There are numerous reasons why we should try our best to use local produce. The produce does not have to travel very far so we reduce the carbon footprint and because they don’t travel far, they are much fresher.
MS: Next project for you? Would you ever consider doing a cookbook?
RW: A cookbook is definitely in the works! It will be unlike any cookbook you have ever seen! So keep your eyes peeled!
MS: One thing you can't leave your house without
MS: Favorite thing to cook
MS: Fun fact that no one would know about you
RW: I have the sweetest, most amazing rescue dog and her name is Frida.