That Boy Good’s Chef / Owner Mark Millwood on Food and Running a Restaurant in North County


We recently caught up with Mark Millwood Chef and Co-owner of That Boy Good BBQ in Oceanside. TBG just celebrated its one year anniversary in August and business is better than ever. You can view mark’s bio here

That Boy Good 207 N. Coast Hwy Oceanside, Ca 92054

Describe your style as a Chef in a few sentences.

I am very comfort food driven, mac and cheese, red beans and rice, things from my childhood. I like putting twists on these and other classics. I do not believe in the sometimes imposed boundaries of “Classic cooking”.

Tell me about That Boy Good.

That Boy Good is based on a Mississippi style Juke Joint. A no frills, no hoopla place that focuses on great flavors and great service.

What led to your decision to open a restaurant in North County, particularly Oceanside?

California is my home state. Along with surf and great weather Oceanside presented itself as an untapped market in dire need of better food.

What have been some of the challenges and rewards of operating a restaurant in North County?

The Cities rules and regulations are not transparent to rookie business owners.On the plus side there has been an increase of support for growth from city officials and organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and Mainstreet Oceanside.

What are your plans moving forward over the next couple of years?

We would like to have multiple outlets of That Boy Good throughout San Diego. My “ego” restaurant would be a gastropub serving solely craft beers and small plates and / or my twist on a Cajun, Creole based restaurant.

Are there other Chefs or trends in North County that inspire you?

The good to great spots are few and far between currently but that leads to the inspiration to create new destination restaurants.

What was the biggest learning experience as a Chef / Restaurateur in your career?

Working for Chef Mercer Mohr and Chef Mary Nearn. Opening my first restaurant.

Best and worst thing about running a Restaurant / Kitchen?

Best thing about running a restaurant are happy customers and building a team. The down side is the life sacrifices you have to make.

Favorite dish or ingredient to make / use? Least favorite?

I love soup whether it’s clam chowder, seafood gumbo, or tomato (a favorite of mine as a child). My least favorite ingredient would be salmon due to the fact it is  on nearly every corporate menu

Any parting words, thoughts, insights?

I love to cook! I feel blessed that I have the ability to make people smile and enjoy life if only for a little while.

A thanks to Chef Mark Millwood for his time, if you are in Oceanside I recommend checking out That Boy Good for great Mississippi inspired BBQ.  I personally recommend the wings (hot in my case) or the pulled pork sandwich or both and a Stone Cali-Belgique to wash it down.


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