Darrin Fikstad: A positive footprint
Darrin was born in Utah, grew up as a boy in Europe and the Middle East and traveled with his parents. I spent my teenage years on a cattle ranch in Arizona which sparked his interest in home grown foods, an appreciation for the country and animals, and a farm to table subsistence. Majoring in Political Science and History, he worked my way through university and college while working in various cafes and restaurants. Once he realized his talent in food industry, he studied as an apprentice to a couple of great chefs to perfect his profession. He became one of the youngest corporate chefs in America, and had his rise to excellence in the field while living in Phoenix Arizona. During his career as a young chef, he participated in numerous Celebrity Chef cooking exhibitions with Jacques Pepin, Wolfgang Puck, and Barbara a Tropp to name a few. His client list for being chef to the stars included Waylon Jennings, Glen Campbell, Arizona Outlaw Football Team, Buck Owen, Bobby Unser and numerous others. He has traveled all over the United States as a guest, consultant, and hired “gun” to fix other peoples restaurants, bars, hotels, colleges, resorts, etc. At age 28, he came to Barstow and began his career as an Entrepreneur, which over the past 24 years has included seven restaurant and nightclubs in Barstow, Apple Valley, Calico Ghost Town, Palm Springs, Bakersfield and Los Angeles. He has had wonderful glowing reviews of his business ventures, and has been honored with the Award of Excellence and Outstanding Achievement Award in his industry.
Currently he is the Board President of Desert Manna, which he commits much of his time to the Barstow community. His company, Fikstad & Associates provides business management services and start up support for various venture capitalists. Locally, He has been successful in getting the Yermo Water Company into receivership after seven years and hundreds of man hours later. He also submitted Projects of Development for the Harvey House and B-Hill. With 2013 upon us, he will be looking into the possibly opening a business or two in Barstow, perhaps starting with a restaurant.
Q: Describe a special memory you have in Barstow.
A: Opening my first business at the age of 28 was a great experience.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I enjoy various outdoor activities, charitable work, traveling and spending time with my chef friends in the industry.
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
A: I enjoy personal time alone to relax.
Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: Embrace the pursuit of knowledge and respect for each other’s differences for the betterment of mankind.
Q: If you could change one thing about Barstow, what would it be?
A: For the public and private sectors to collaborate to improve the economic viability and quality of life in the community.
Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
A: So many, Plato, our Founding Fathers, Lincoln, Churchill, Julia Childs. Conversation with any or all would be fascinating.
Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: My parents.
Q: What talent do you most wish you had?
A: To be a Jazz musician or sing like Frank Sinatra.
Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: The Declaration of Independence, does it get any better than that?
Q: What words of advice do you have for the next generation?
A: Become active in your local community through politics, business and charities. Learn, Live, and Protect the US Constitution.
Q: Tell us about the charities or causes that are close to your heart and why.
A: There have been many over the years, my commitment currently is with Desert Manna.
Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?
A: My political activism, charitable work, accomplishments as an award winning master-chef, and my commitment to Sustainable Foods & Slow Grow Movement (Farm to Table).
Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
A: Schinlder’s List
Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about living in Barstow?
A: Compassionate citizens who are supportive of their charities and causes.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: In my business, Fikstad & Associates, it is turning other peoples business’s from financial and operations hemorrhaging to successful operations. For Desert Manna, its providing the proper support for the local community.
Q: What book had a significant impact on you?
A:Tora, Benjamin Franklin Autobiography, Art of the Deal by Donald Trump.
Q: Of all the places you’ve been, what’s your favorite and why?
A: Europe, I loved the Mediterranean, the culture, history, people and food.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: I have traveled many places throughout my life. I would love to take a safari in Africa, Kenya, Jerusalem and Israel.
Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.
A: To leave a positive footprint — a legacy of excellence in character.
Q: What’s your favorite place to eat in Barstow?
A: As a chef, I can be critical, yet Barstow has a few I enjoy such as Idle Spurs, Los Domingo’s, Lola’s Kitchen and DiNapoli’s.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Living life and enjoying it to the fullest. Be it on a ranch, Mexican resort, or here. We shall see.
Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: High butter fat ice-cream.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
A: Live life to the fullest.
Who would you like to see
profiled in an upcoming Q&A?
Drop us a line at DHolland