We had the good fortune of connecting with Charles Denois and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charles, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Since I was a child I have always been an adventure / adrenaline seeker. So far, I have managed to maintain a risky lifestyle keeping it close to the edge of where there is a real danger . What started with a quest for rushes of adrenalines, surfing or riding motorcycles at a young age, became contagious to many other aspects of my life. Because fear is associated with a risk I tend to be more committed with a more risky situation. Somehow the danger of failing materialises your decisions. In sports like in life, wether you drop in a 10ft wave or you invest in a new venture, if your head is not 100% in the moment you are likely to fail. Besides, there would be no real progression in life without risk taking. I believe that it allows you to get out of your comfort zone and go where you would not have been before, allows you to improve yourself, test your limits and learn. You just have to learn how to adjust the dose, so it does not become a destructive behaviour, the way it would be for a gambler or an addict.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Like most people, these times are a bit blurry and feels like we have no sense of direction. My career as a restaurant / bar manager is on pause. These recent events with COVID-19 allowed me to take a step back and look at the whole thing with a different eye. Now, I am just exploring options. Even though my job truly passionates me and allowed me to make a living while being creative, I have to reconsider this hard lifestyle. In 2020 it is not an easy thing to switch careers as we enter a very competitive employment crisis… Lastly I have started a home bakery with a group of friends. We dedicated ourselves to learning the oldest French methods of bread making as a way to re-connect with our French Heritage. The stars aligned, we discovered a new passion, the breads turned out so great that we decided to create a bakery. It is called Craquante bakery, we bake the loafs on demand and deliver them in LA. The point is to share great bread with people and get a kick out of simple things well done. We are now in the process of getting our license and are hoping to do markets, events and later on sell to restaurant, businesses and why not open an actual store. If you asked 4 months ago what was the plan, never I would have answered you a bakery ! At the end of the day it’s a journey and I just try to do things that stimulates me, pushes me to think, develop ideas and try to get some fun out of it. Being active and enterprising can only result in good things.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To be honest there would be no plan, we are both always down for an adventure with a good dose of struggle. But let’s say …He would have to pack only essentials : a surfboard, a wetsuit, a pair of jeans and a few sweaters. After his long trip from France I would pick him up at the airport in the most uncomfortable way possible : on my motorcycle. We would go right away on a tour for the best street tacos. Post digestion we would hit one of my favourite coffee spot in town called “good boy bob” in Santa Monica and refuel. Right after that we would have to leave town and head up north and surf along the coast on my favourite spots (don’t count on me to reveal those in the article) . A mandatory stop would be “loquita”, a gastronomic, Spanish restaurant in Santa Barbara that reminds of the best of Barcelona. As a good French that he is and the proper wine snob that I am we would make a stop in Santa Rita Hills to gear up in good quality beverages. In my opinion it is one of the most interesting wine region in California with a fresher climate and not as much fuss as Napa. We would try to stack up as many bottles as we can on an already very loaded motorcycle and head down to Joshua tree for some week-end desert fun. I would probably try to book this air BNB owned by Tao Raspuli. It’s a creative space with art gallery, music studio and let the creative juices flow…
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?
I like to be pragmatic and think that every person I have met, every experience I have been through and every mentors I have had have contributed to where I am today. But in order to narrow it down I would give the biggest shoutout to my dad who is and will always be the person I look up the most too.
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