Founding Partner of Wunderspirits, Big Little Fish Management and Chief Executive Officer of Rococo Cantaloupe
“This industry was my first true love, and I wouldn't still be working in it if it wasn't. My earliest memories are of food and my grandmother teaching me how to cook. I’ve always loved making things taste good, and making people happy.
Olivier taught me how to bartend a long time ago, and I will never forget when he told me this: you’re going to work hard and it’s not going to be easy and it will be a long road. You may not be rich, but you will have a lot of great relationships and these lasting relationships will make your life rich.
I could not do my job without my nose. The sense of smell is so important to me. If I couldn’t smell, it would be over.
"Cooking by hand" by Paul Bertolli, is my go-to cookbook to give to people because it allows you to think about assembling, cooking, and the process of flavor without the guideline of a recipe.
When hiring, I look for people with generosity of spirit. I can teach you everything I know how to do, but I can’t teach you to be nice and be a good teammate.
I find my inspiration from many sources. I have the luxury of traveling and get a lot of exposure of what’s happening in the world. Social media can be very informative. I also have a massive collection of cookbooks.
I love what I do and it excites me. I can’t hide my excitement and love for it. It’s all about being honest and inclusive with your team. My vision is always: I know something, I share it with you then you share it with someone else. Excitement and passion for this industry is palpable to people and you can’t hide that or help but be affected by it, it’s infectious. It's important to genuinely be excited about what you do and create, it’s not work when it’s fun!
It’s about learning and not getting in your own way, and not over-complicating things. Don’t chef it up too much. Anything that’s ever good is a sequence of very specific detail oriented things. Pay attention along the way, try to do it right every time, and in the end, you'll have created something great!
I'm pretty self-taught and always took risks. Fear teaches well!
Working for Loretta Keller as her Bar Manager had a huge impact on my career. She took the time to teach me culinary techniques, and explain flavor and the thought process of putting it all together.
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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