Forged in the trenches of the Orange County music scene and over the campfires of the High Sierra, the culinary talents of Chef David Christian Mau need no introduction to those “in the know” in the OC. As ”The culture of cool, personified (per Riviera Magazine) and “… an arbiter of all things hip in Orange County” (per Dan Bradley of the Memphis Group,) Dave has earned a rock solid reputation through fine food, unbounded hospitality and a tight connection to the OC music and cultural scenes.

Dave’s culinary talents have been honed by a lifetime of learning. His first
lessons were by his father’s side as a young boy; these were followed by years of restaurant industry work while earning his film degree. But it is at the Calvin Room in Huntington Beach where his reputation exploded; the local music elite and their entourages, from Big Sandy to No Doubt, all seemed to end up at the house eating Dave’s BBQ by the pool, night after night. He was also fortunate to travel with and photograph many bands from the OC, and worked at Linda’s Doll Hut, the seminal punk rock venue in Anaheim.

When he wasn’t providing 3 a.m. feedings to hungry musicians, Dave was
cutting his teeth working summers at Vermillion Valley Resort and High Sierra Pack Station, slinging good ol’ fashioned grub above 8000 feet for cowboys, hikers and anyone who crossed his path. The summer of 2019 was his 24th season in a row as a backcountry cook.

One of the original partners of the District Lounge in Old Town Orange when it opened in 2004, Dave received accolades from the press for his
cuisine. Most notably, the OC Weekly declared he had “stellar kitchen chops” and that his creations were not only “the best BBQ east of the 57 freeway” but they “could win a gold medal at a Kansas City cookoff.”

Dave’s love of Mexican food and culture also earned him the title of
“Honorary Mexican” by Gustavo Arrellano of the OC Weekly’s “Ask A Mexican Column.” In 2008 Dave came on board in a most refreshing but unlikely combination with a very dear friend, legendary Sushi Chef Cody Requejo, to open The {re]TREAT in the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Dave’s longstanding love and knowledge of rustic American and Mexican fare merged with his new found fascination with the traditional foods of the Mediterranean.

In 2016 he partnered with The SoCo Collection in Costa Mesa, CA to
create “Behind The Line”, a singular, open forum industry-only event. Featuring a family meal prepared by some of Orange County’s finest epicurean practitioners followed by three 15 minute moderated panel discussions covering bar, food and restaurant culture. The event sent shockwaves through the OC food community by creating a unique space for those in The Biz to be themselves and inspire one another to be the change they wish to see in the restaurant world.

He currently writes for the OC Weekly in addition to providing food
photography for Disney’s west coast properties. As Executive Chef for Proof and Cooper in Austin, Texas and Solana on Abbott Kinney in Venice, he handled the concepting and rollout the for each location. In 2018 he started with the culinary team at The ACE Hotel and Swim Club and also launched his restaurant/media cooperative, The DXM Group, with a select group of collaborators. Most recently he came on board with the Los Angeles-based Spaceland Presents team to set up the culinary program for The Alibi Palm Springs, a full service restaurant and live music venue. His current role is as a private Chef for several West Coast agencies.

Dave’s cuisine is a fusion all its own; there is absolutely no pretense to his
culinary style. He cooks for the best of reasons: a love for people, friendship and
the magic that happens over a few bottles of wine with just the right folks. And he
firmly stands by his mantra: ”Good company is the best ingredient and pretense
makes a lousy garnish.”

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