Felix Barron, the chef behind the Ktchn brunch pop-ups in Pasadena and downtown Los Angeles, cooked his first pop-up dinner when he was just 19 — he charged guests $15 and prepared a whole roast pig and lobster. After moving from Santa Ana to Los Angeles in 2009, Barron started Ktchn 105, a home cooking school out of a loft in downtown L.A., and began hosting weekend brunch pop-ups as a way to get the word out about his cooking classes. "But nobody wanted classes; they just wanted brunch," said Barron.
So he started his roaming brunch service in downtown and recently opened a permanent spot at the new 4th Street Market in Santa Ana. There you'll find Barron's signature fried eggs on top of, well, everything. Barron took a break from frying eggs at Ktchn dtsa to discuss his obsession with brunch and what he'd eat at dinner with Björk.
If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be? And what would you eat?
I guess Björk. I love her. She's, like, my favorite artist. I've loved her since I was a kid. She's so ... crazy. I think having dinner with her would be amazing. I think we'd eat goose eggs. [Bursts into laughter.] I don't know.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate malted crunch, from Thrifty's.
Why cook just brunch?
I love eggs. And I feel like if I've ever had a bad day or nothing was going right, I'd come home and my mom would make me a fried egg. And it was like sumptuous, heartfelt. It really did cheer me up. And even to this day, even though I cook eggs all the time, I'll go visit my mom, and she's, like, "Do you want an egg?? She does the eggs the way I like them. She pan-fries them in a little oil, but she gets the edges of the white super crispy and the yolk is perfect.
What's the tattoo on your arm?
This is Ganesh. He's a remover of all obstacles and opener of all doors.
How did you get into cooking?
My mom let me in the kitchen when I was about 7. I would cut ... and fry ... and play restaurant with my sisters. I'd make them food. I never put two and two together, but my sisters would always call me Chef Boyardee when I was a kid. I've cooked ever since then. Once I graduated from high school, I would entertain my friends, have parties and cook for them. I'd, like, make spaghetti sauce, then tell them, "Hey, come over and try it."
Ktchn dtsa, 201 E. 4th St., Santa Ana, (714) 418-5010, www.ktchndtsa.squarespace.com