Name: Dave Walker
Age: 50, Birthday September 7
Position: Chef/General Manager
Hometown: Tyler, TX
WHBC: Hey Dave – so tell me how long you've been here. Since the start?
Dave: Since Oct. 20, 2016
WHBC: How did you find out about the position open here?
Dave: I saw it on Facebook.
WHBC: Where were you working before this?
Dave: I was at La Gran Tapa in San Diego 5 years. I left there to be a consultant for a few restaurants. But after a while it got boring.
WHBC: So you've been a chef quite a while. Is this always what you wanted to do?
Dave: I've been a Chef for over 35, I watched my mom and my Dad cook while I was growing up. At 15 I wanted to have a job and make my own money, so I got me a job as a dishwasher in a family owned restaurant, I showed an interest in cooking and one of the chefs there gave me a shot. Started teaching me and I ended up running the kitchen and as a GM for almost 25 years until they closed.
WHBC: Why this profession?
Dave: I love food. haha. I like to see people eating my food and being happy. How can I say this…Food brings people together? I come from a Mexican/Irish American family and that's just what we did. We all got together ate, and had fun.
WHBC: Well said! So did you help create the menu here at the Imperial House?
Dave: Not when I first took over. Robert was the chef at that time, I was hire as a GM only. But after a few weeks and a little research, I had to fix the problem this great restaurant had, (The Kitchen ), so I started giving ideas to the chef at the time but he didn't have the same ideas and goals as I did, so I took over the the BOH, and after talking to our customers, I decided to turn it into a Steakhouse and so far it's been a success.
WHBC: Which dishes are your babies?
Dave: The Prime rib, people say it's the best in San Diego, Steak Diane, the Outlaw steak, Tuna melt, the Philly cheesesteak, and the chicken marinara, the marinara sauce is my recipe too.
WHBC: The Prime rib is one of my favorites! So being the manager, you still work the line too, right? How do you get yourself and the guys through when it gets slammed and you've got tickets coming out all over the place?
Dave: We just focus, stay calm, and do what we have to do. I say don't let one screw up slow you down. Get past it and move on, I love my staff and honestly, I couldn't have done all this without them.
WHBC: That's pretty solid advice. If I were to ask the line, what would they say about working with you?
Dave: Haha. I think they'd say I'm fun to work with and that I let everyone be themselves and be creative and take care of our customers like Royalty.
WHBC: What is your favorite part about working here of all places?
Dave: I know everyone says this, but the people and The history, they're fun to work with and this is a fun place to work. Kevin and Brian are awesome boss.
WHBC: Do you have a favorite person to work with?
Dave: No, I don't play favorites. I really like working with all of them!
WHBC: So when you're not working, what are you up to?
Dave: I just hang out with my girlfriend ride my Harley and watch lots of tv, I love watching tv with my girlfriend and by the way she also works with me and I love it!!!
WHBC: wow! That's awesome. So tell me about your family.
Dave: Most of my family is here in San Diego. My kids are here in SD as well. I have 2 kids; they're 19, 17, Chelsea and Tyler. Chelsea works here with me as a hostess.
WHBC: So tell me something the world might not know about Mr. Chef Dave Walker.
Dave: I'm nicer than my looks, lol, I think. And I like to ride, classic cars and classic rock. I'd like to restore a classic car with my son or grandson one day.
WHBC: So are you ready for the weird questions? I like to save these for last! ha ha
Dave: I'll tell you right now the super power I'd want – to get rid of stupidity! ha ha.
WHBC: Wouldn't that be something?! So my question to you then is if you were a time traveler, where and when would you go?
Dave: I think I'd go to the early 1800s I'm a cowboy at heart so I would love see the wild west and see how everything started.
WHBC: Last question – what's your catchphrase finish this sentence? Dave….
Dave: Now I can tell you that because is what I love to do. Chef Dave "making people happy one meal at a time.."
So I'm doing something a little different – giving it a try, spicing things up, stirring the pot… you get it.
Keep reading to see what some of Dave's coworkers had to say about him.
I asked what it is like to work with Dave.
George: "It's intimidating, but rewarding. He's one of the hardest workers I've ever seen He's a really good role model."
Tyler: "He's awful, the worst ever. He beats us when no one is looking. Seriously… he's really great. No complaints here. Hopefully I won't get fired for saying the first ha ha."
Frank: "You got to keep his water jug refilled sort of speak, If you're doing what you're supposed to do, he's happy. He doesn't like babysitting. Dave is very much focused. He's hilarious and sarcastic. If you don't know him, some might take it personally, but you can't. It's all in fun. Dave is super creative, hardworking, the energy of the kitchen, has a great laugh, and can whip up some of the best steaks and dishes I've ever seen. That's saying a lot since I don't really eat . When he's working, I know whatever comes our way, we can get through it!"