If there is anybody to have a true passion for what they do for a living, Chef Felix Frias is that person. It is food and cooking that drive him and inspire him on a daily basis to create his dishes in the kitchen. Diners can watch on as Chef Felix works his magic in the open kitchen; and although he says sometimes it can be hard to have people constantly watching him, you would never know this as he maintains a constant sign of joy on his face and a certain calmness about his methods.
Frias has been Executive Chef at Ocean Room for four years. Within that time Chef Felix has been executing a technique he has researched and studied much about: kettle steaming. This is a method of steaming shellfish under pressure in a giant metal kettle, a technique originating in New Orleans, and only a few restaurants use the method across the rest of America. Chef Felix says that it was a pleasure and a challenge to learn this new technique for the restaurant. This pleasure comes out in his cuisine as he offers a multitude of shellfish dishes such as a bowl of Steamers in a broth made of white wine, garlic, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Chef Felix also offers fresh sushi and sashimi and an oyster bar, which gives Ocean Room a wide variety of choices for the diner.
Chef Felix Frias was born in Vera Cruz, Mexico, and came to the United States with his parents when he was young. He worked in various restaurants in San Diego in the back of the kitchen where he developed his love of cooking. With no formal culinary training, Chef Felix uses his deep passion and love for food to guide him in his creativity.
Frias worked under many talented chefs around San Diego before finally becoming Executive Chef at Chianti, an Italian restaurant also located in downtown San Diego. He ran Chianti for five years before heading up its sister restaurant Ocean Room, located directly next door. Chianti and Ocean Room are two of four restaurants owned by the Dining on Fifth restaurant group. Here at Ocean Room, Chef Felix can express his passion for seafood. It is this cuisine along with Italian food that he enjoys preparing most despite his Mexican background. He says his favorite ingredients to work with are white wine, garlic, and saffron, things he uses an abundance of at Ocean Room.
What does the future hold for Chef Felix? He says that his main goal in his culinary career is to continue to make people happy and that this is what is most important. For now he is content here at Ocean Room. It has been a different but fun and exciting experience for Chef Felix, and he feels good when he knows people are enjoying his dishes. Food in general he says is his inspiration, and as long as you have a passion for what you are doing then nothing else matters.