- Terelle Jerricks
Chef Chris Sison, Photo by Phillip Cooke
Article by Katrina Guevara, Contributing Writer
The day San Pedro’s 7th Street Chophouse closed was a sad one for anyone addicted to restaurant’s the innovative menu and live music scene. Executive Chef Chris Sison’s work during his four-year tenure in the kitchen contributed hugely to the memories that people made there.
At the Chophouse, Sison aimed to bring a diverse flair to his menu, which included flat-bread, seared ahi tuna, Tex-Mex rolls, spinach dip, chicken, shrimp, carnitas tacos and mini Kobe burgers. And that was just the appetizers menu,
Sison grew up in the City of Carson, experiencing a lot of diverse cultures and cuisines.
“ I grew up around Japanese folks, Hawaiian, Belizean, Jamaican, Filipino,” he said during a 2013 interview with Random Lengths. “At the time. I went to a lot of these kids houses and experienced a lot of these cuisines.”
Those influences were apparent in Sison’s menu at the Chophouse. When the restaurant closed in 2013, Sison applied to become a line cook at 555 East American Steakhouse in Long Beach. He wanted to challenge himself. There, under the guidance of Chef Douglas Farnsworth, Sison polished his techniques for preparing swordfish and filet mignon. In time, he was elevated from line cook to executive chef.
The 555 East — aka as “the fives” — specializes in corn-fed, hand-cut and aged USDA prime steak. It has been serving “the king of beef” to the people of Long Beach for almost two decades. Here’s what Chef Sison has to say about his first month in the kitchen as the executive chef.
Katrina Guevara: Would you try to describe 555 East in five words?
Chris Sison: Professional, teamwork, leadership and classic steakhouse.
KG: Are there any regional dishes at 555 East that you have yet to develop?
CS: We actually leave this up to the regional chefs to develop items. We execute the dishes to their liking.
KG: Approximately how many pounds of steak are prepared and served daily?
CS: 200 to 300 pounds a day.
KG: In general, how would you say steakhouses have changed in the past 10 years?
CS: I would say the quality of meat has changed, in addition to the identification of different meats from guests.
KG: What is the most rewarding experience at your job?
CS: The most rewarding experience for me is that King’s Seafood Co. is supporting my vision to become the executive chef, among other possible, further opportunities. I started as a line cook three years ago and have been striving for more daily.
KG: How do you prefer your steak? Is that what you suggest everyone order?
CS: For prime steak, I prefer medium. I would suggest others to order it the same.
KG: How is 555 involved with the local community?
CS: We are involved in the community by participating in charities. We make donations to schools. We also participated in the Ronald McDonald charity walk recently.
KG: If you could serve a dish from your restaurant to any public figure, what would be the dish and who would be the person?
CS: I would serve a medium “bone-in ribeye” and a “loaded baked potato” with cheese, sour cream, butter, bacon and chives to Tom Colicchio of Craft Steakhouse. The reason being is, I really enjoyed his restaurant and would like him to see us do simple done right.
The 555 East American Steakhouse is located at 555 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach. For more info., visit: http://www.555east.com/.