Chef Craig Strong lives a busy life. Running Ocean at Main in Laguna Beach is no easy feat, so he must stay on top of his game and keep a healthy mind and body. Heres how Chef Strong gets it done.
I work out at Art of Fitness in Laguna Beach at least 5 times a week. This studio is owned by two incredible women - Fernanda and Marian. This has been my go-to gym for 10 years, I love that it’s a place for locals and the atmosphere offers a strong sense of community. I often run into regulars from Ocean at Main there and people who know me from the gym come to check out the restaurant. Art of Fitness is where I find balance. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I strengthen my core and calm my mind with group yoga and on alternate days I work on strength training. On the weekends, I take to the trails in Laguna Beach to go mountain biking - that’s where I get my cardio.
There’s no better barber than Julien at Alchemy Studio. I’m fortunate that his studio is just a minute’s walk from Ocean at Main, but I’d travel far to visit him because Julien offers something special - a visit to him is so much more than fresh cut and clean shave. I go for outward transformation, but I leave with a powerful feeling of inward transformation. Julien was a devoted student of the late Sathya Sai Baba, a famous Indian guru whose teachings promoted the power of introspection. Whether it is intentional or not, the service Julien provides is two-fold; when he’s cutting my hair, I’m also receiving a lesson in philosophy. I leave feeling uplifted, grounded, and renewed with good energy.
My favorite placed to grab a beer is Docent Brewing in San Juan Capistrano. With its laid-back atmosphere and knowledgeable staff, this is the ultimate place to discover new brews in Orange County. My go-to order there is the Korean Reuben Sandwich with pastrami, house kimchi, Swiss cheese, and chili aioli. Usually, I’ll drink an IPA, but I always enjoy trying new beers from their ever-changing selection.
When I’m not wearing a chef coat, it’s likely you’ll find me at the beach or on the trails in Laguna Beach. My favorite biking apparel shop is Troy Lee Designs. From helmets to hand gloves, they offer everything you need to suit up for a day on the trails. Caramelita Green, the shop’s manager sits on the Board for the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce with me.
On my days off, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my wife and daughter. Victoria Beach in South Laguna is our favorite place to relax in the sun and enjoy the beauty of Laguna. There’s so much to love about this beach and its home to a few hidden gems including the old sixty-foot Pirate Tower and man-made rock pool, which creates the perfect place to swim (without the waves). Even with its iconic landmarks, Victoria Beach is one of Laguna’s best-kept secrets. It’s right in our backyard, and it offers the perfect escape.