Co-Owner and Executive Chef at Cultura
“The biggest lesson that I have learned during my career is don’t react too quickly. Whether it's changing your menu, hiring and firing, or opening a new restaurant, take time to breathe and think everything through.„
The best piece of advice that I have received was from Chef Reza Setayesh. He once told me “you have no idea what you don’t yet know.” That is the best life lesson I have ever learned.
The opening of my first restaurant had the biggest impact on my career. I was too young and too undertrained. It made me really nail down my focus and led me to where I am today.
Finding a healthy work/life balance is tough. I try to give myself two hours a day of personal time. Whether that’s exercise, meditation, or going to see a therapist – I find implementing this non-negotiable self-care time is crucial for my health and happiness, and a good way to find space and balance.
When hiring, I look for a clear presence of thought, an easy conversationalist, and someone with humility. Unless I am hiring management, I rarely take caution in their resume.
I keep my staff motivated through constant encouragement. I take a lot of time focusing on teambuilding and processing the troubles and negative energy that can come through the door, spending time absorbing this for managers so they don’t have to take it on themselves.
The ability to make and try new and cool things that customers respond to keeps me inspired. Whether it's a new menu to a new restaurant, being innovative and getting encouraging responses keeps me going!
I find inspiration through different experiences, traveling and food. It isn’t always about eating the coolest most “on-trend” meal. The relationship between food and culture has always been the same and we are working toward the goal of continuing that.
Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.
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