For our 64th interview on Scout, we chat with Nathan Guggenheimer, who was recently promoted from his sous chef position at Lumiere to the chef de cuisine job next door at DB Bistro. He is also the principal organiser (and namesake) of the restaurant industry’s annual Guggenheimer Dog Gobble, something of a shoe fetishist, and an all around quality guy.
First memory? Standing and crying outside of school on my very first day of kindergarten, refusing to go inside (my mom took me home).
First album that made you love music? Meatloaf ‘Bat of Hell’. Not the second one! That was crap.
The first three things you do every morning? Open my eyes, hit the snooze button, think about what I have to get done throughout the day.
Three things about your home base of Kitsilano that make you want to live there: It’s close to work, close to Dale Mackay, and jogging on the beach.
The thing that excites you most about your new position at DB Bistro: Getting to work directly with Daniel.
The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: The fat drippings that are left over in the pans from the meat section.
Default drink of choice when you walk into a bar or restaurant: one shot of Campari, two ice cubes, one splash of water.
Drink you’ll never have again? Green Goodness vegetable and fruit smoothie. Tasted like grass and dirt.
Sexiest fashion item for women? Lululemon.
Favourite Vancouver bridge? Granville, best view.
What intimidates you the most? I don’t think that I would ever let myself feel overly intimidated, and if I was I would never tell anyone about it.
Who were your greatest influences in cooking? I really looked up to people like Gordon Ramsay. However, Hawskworth has had a major influence on me.
Ingredient you use the most? Fresh herbs.
Last night’s dinner? Funnily enough, hotdogs for staff meal. I ate like 6 of them in 4 minutes.
Bartender who could sell you anything? Jay Jones at Pourhouse.
Cheap place for dinner? Dix Brewpub on Beatty.
The most impactful book you ever read? Probably Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.
Last place traveled: New York, New York.
What is the worst cliche ever? Socks and sandals.
Best sneaker in the world? Puma Easyrider III (I have three pairs)
Person you’d punch? The punk kid who keyed up my truck the other night while I was grocery shopping.
Your ancestry? German/Irish.
Under what circumstances would you join the army? Well that depends if another World War was taking place and my country requested to use my mind for commanding and strategising special covert operations (special agent stuff). I would comply. Otherwise I would try to avoid.
Biggest challenge in your professional life? Right now.
Dumbest purchase ever? Third pair of Puma Easyrider III (I mean, who needs three pairs of the same shoe?).
Luckiest moment in your life? Technically, the time I won a thousand dollars on a Scratch and Win.
What are you most proud of? Being the smallest guy and biggest underdog at a hot dog eating competition (the Guggenheimer Dog Gobble – watch the video) and still placing third.
What makes you angry? Liars. Nobody likes a liar.
Ice cream flavour? Mint Chocolate Chip or Cookies and Cream.
Talent you wish you possessed? To be able to sing like an angel.
Musical instrument you long to play? Piano.
Sport you gave up? Baseball.
The game you’re best at? Either Scrabble or Risk.
Have you ever fired a gun? Yes.
Scariest situation you’ve ever been in? Sitting in the passenger side of a jeep and looking down the cliff ledge that it is teetering off of.
Three things of no value that you will keep until you die? Hopefully my sense of humour, my eyes, and my body.
Have you ever worn argyle? Yes.
Describe your tattoos: I have one on my left rib cage which is a portrait of a lovely marlin fish bursting out of the water (aquired in Mexico…enough said), and I also have a dragon on my right shoulder that I got in France.
Favourite Canadian town we’ve never heard of? Spuzzum.
What terrifies you? Waking up and feeling tired of cooking and losing my passion/standards. Aliens really freak the shit out of me, too.
If you could rename yourself? Dr. Bon Guggenheimer IV.