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Kirk Sowell 

Chef at Frankie and Lola's Front Street Café and Miss Lola's Southside Grill, Morro Bay

NEW TIMES How would you describe your style of cooking?

SOWELL I start with real, traditional cuisine, but I add a twist—not something weird or unusual—something that takes the food a step further and brings it up to date.


NEW TIMES Where did the ideas for your dishes come from? Any family recipes?

SOWELL My wife created some of the dishes, maybe seven or eight. Others have a family background, but I reworked them to make them work with the local ingredients. For a lot of the others, I kind of had to reinvent the wheel. Our breads, for instance, are all vegan.


NEW TIMES What’s the best part of the job?

SOWELL When I have guests come in, and I can tell they really enjoyed the food. That’s the reason I got into this, hands down.


NEW TIMES Any plans for the future?

SOWELL We’re starting to bake pies at the Southside Grill—autumn flavors like pumpkin and pecan. The whole dinner menu there is still evolving. One thing we just added is the handmade corn tortilla tacos with halibut that’s right off the boat.

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