"Leon DeLeon, a name so badass you gotta say it twice," began the giggle-out-loud little bio I received from the head chef of the suave Polaris-area Mexican restaurant called Cantina Laredo. Explaining why he was endowed with that recursive name - which translates to "lion of lions" - DeLeon said his father wanted "big, badass children." I think Dad got his wish.

Age: 35

Title: Executive chef, Cantina Laredo

Hometown: Defiance

Current neighborhood: Clintonville

"Leon DeLeon, a name so badass you gotta say it twice," began the giggle-out-loud little bio I received from the head chef of the suavePolaris-area Mexican restaurant called Cantina Laredo. Explaining why he was endowed with thatrecursive name - which translates to "lion of lions" - DeLeon said his father wanted "big, badass children." I think Dad got his wish.

Lackingtime and money for school and feeling the need to "escape immediately" from Defiance, Ohio, DeLeon's cooking education began in the kitchen at Lindey's and continued through 11 tough years of climbing up the Bravo corporate ladder.

Eventually landing at the upscale Cantina Laredo, which DeLeon aptly describes as "traditional Mexican food in a beautiful setting ... [a restaurant specializing in]fresh ingredients and homemade sauces," seems like a great fit for this big, badass chef.

What kinds of menus do you find interesting?

Americana and diner-style menus. I would love - hee hee - to take over Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" Food Network TV job. My hair is much better than his.

Is there anything on your menu you never tire of eating?

Brisket tacos. Mine taste like traditional Mexican barbacoa.

What's your favorite food and drink pairing?

Can I say liquor and loud music? Women and trouble?

What ingredient could you not live without?

Salt. It truly is life's blood.

Describe a great summer meal you'd make for friends.

Crawfish boils and beer in the parking lot behind the Lost Weekend record store.

What are your guilty food pleasures?

[Clintonville pub] O'Reilly's fried bologna, High Life and dirty Columbus rock shows. The greasier the better! The shows, not the bologna.

If you weren't cheffing, what might you be doing?

Sideshow carny