Interview with Sean Lowenthal of Little Beast

Angie Quan

We interviewed Sean Lowenthal, badass chef of Little Beast:


What’s your favorite thing about Little Beast?  My favorite thing about Little Beast is that we are a casual restaurant with sophistication which gives us the freedom and flexibility to serve anything we want, as long as it’s good and not too expensive.

What’s your favorite ingredient?  My favorite ingredient is carrots.  Vegetables have so much versatility, especially root vegetables.  I love that you can serve carrots raw, cooked, roasted, or fried.  You can cut them in any size and if prepared right they are super delicious.  They have the right amount of savory and sweet with so much texture.

What’s your least favorite ingredient?  My least favorite ingredient is probably the durian fruit.  I haven’t found a way to make it delicious with flavor and texture.  Both of which, aren’t good.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?  My favorite ice cream flavor is salted caramel.  I love the salty, sweet, and nutty combination of it. But honestly I haven’t found an ice cream I don’t like!

Where did you grow up?  I was born in Savannah, GA and raised outside of Atlanta.  I lived in Georgia for the first 20 years of my life. 

What’s your favorite place to travel and eat?  My favorite place to travel and eat is New York City.  There are so many fantastic restaurants of all kinds.  Some of the best restaurants in the world are there and demonstrate their greatness with such intensity and passion. 

What’s your biggest pet peeve about the food world/in the kitchen?  My biggest pet peeve is that the hype and trendiness of the restaurant business has given a false sense of what it takes to become a chef.  People expect to become a chef overnight (right out of culinary school).  Everyone wants to become a chef, but doesn’t expect to have to go through the blood, sweat, and tears to get there.  A huge part of being a chef is the learning, growing, and making of mistakes because it leads to such a greater respect and understanding of the process. 

What do you do for inspiration?  I find inspiration in music.  I love to listen and play music (guitar).  I also love to read about the artistry of making music. I notice so many similarities to the restaurant industry.  The difficulty in becoming a musician is similar to what it takes to become a chef.  And gaining status as a famous celebrity chef (Michelin Starred or James Beard awarded) is similar to becoming a nationally known recording artist:  there are not many at that level.  The rest of us continue to do it because we love it and we can’t stop creating.

What do you love the most about your apron?  I love my apron (Abalone) because it looks awesome and it is comfortable.  All of the different styles that you offer makes for a tough decision.

What’s your favorite season to cook in and why?  My favorite season to cook in is summer because of all the great produce.  California has the best produce I’ve ever worked with, which is always inspiring.