We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabe Griggs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabe, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I don’t think I chose an artistic career, Id like to think it chose me. From a young age I knew that I was against doing the norm. My friends were playing basketball, I started in gymnastics, band and baseball. When my friends were working on the cleaning crew for summer money, I was a camp counselor to adolescents and pre-teens. Every time someone went right, I went left. This followed me as I left state to go to college and became manager of the hockey team after one season on the basketball team. Coming from the housing developments that I did in NYC, I can name absolutely zero people that I knew growing up playing hockey but it was that aspect of it that I enjoyed. The fact that I didn’t know anything about it broadened my horizons and pushed me out of my comfort zone. This is to me the epitome of an artist, being able to constantly work outside of your comfort zone and produce results that supersede expectations. I embody this mentality to this day in the kitchen where I am constantly playing with ingredients and techniques and pushing myself to create magic.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I don’t like to put myself into a singular category as I like to do many things, but right now I am focusing on culinary arts and building my brand as a chef. The road has been a journey full of unexpected turns but one that I would not trade for anything. My path to cooking has been far from traditional. I have experienced fear working with celebrity clients and I have often compared myself to other chefs who are trained and far more experienced, but the one thing I have never done is questioned myself and my talent, This has by far been the most important lesson that I have learned in my journey. If you do not have confidence in yourself, your art, your product, no one else will. Along with that, you also have to know how to market yourself. In a world where everyone can self-promote, content is key and being able to standout in such a large pool is extremely difficult. This is one aspect of the business that I have struggled with and am now learning different methods to better promote myself. At the end of the day, it doesn’t help my business if the product is great and no one knows about it. I am a sponge and love to absorb knowledge. I am never complacent and want my brand to reflect that. When you see my menus, I want them to have little things that stand out and constantly evolve to incorporate familiar foods paired with unfamiliar techniques. I put my heart and soul into every dish and I want people to enjoy eating it as much as I enjoy cooking it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start off with a early morning hike of Griffith Park, show them some cool gems like the Old Zoo and finish off with a breath taking view of the city before it gets too hot and crowded. I would then head to Sam’s Bagels on Fairfax and Sunset for a breakfast sandwich. They have some of the best bagels around and a great Sausage, Egg & Cheese, not sure if they’re from the east coast but they’re pretty spot on to the New York staple. I’d then head DTLA and bounce around from the murals in the arts district to the Fashion District & Santee Alley, then up to Grand Central Market for a sensory overload of food. After picking through a few spots there, I’d hit Grand Park for some chill time, people watching and hopefully live music depending on the time of year. By this time it should be early evening, which is a perfect time to hit K-town and take advantage of a dope happy hour. One of my favorites is at Mama Lion, where you can get some pretty strong old fashioned good eats if you choose.. and it starts at 7pm!! I prefer to do cocktails here and go to Korean BBQ in the area. You can never talk me out of AYCE…DIY goodness! Jjukku Jjukku is one of my favorites but Shabu Shabu House and Quarters are also highly recommended. After dinner, its definitely cheap drinks and arcade games at Blipsy Bar. This place is a throwback and should be forever enshrined. Classic arcade games, sticky floors, dark lighting, its great. That would be day 1! Theres so many other great places to visit and most of my trips would involve food for sure. We could spend a day or two alone just in the Valley cruising for tacos, another day on the Westside, paddleboarding at Mama’s Beach, hooping in Venice and people watching along the pier.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Tamara Anderson (@culinaryandcannabis) will always be credited for the birth of BoyMeetsGrills an giving me my first public platform but there have been many people along the way that have helped me grow to where I am today. S/o to Ken Locker (@kenlocker) for headshots and food photography; Ebonice Atkins (@dopecameragirl) for all of her graphic help with flyers and websites; my roommate for dealing with all of the late night experiments and being my guinea pig; and most importantly all of my family, friends, followers and customers who continue to support.
Linkedin: Gabriel Griggs
Facebook: Gabe Griggs