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Johanna Yorke and the story of Alto Cinco & Otro Cinco
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October 13, 2019 09:56 AM PDT
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Alto Cinco first opened its doors in September of 1995 as a takeout restaurant only. In 1999, the restaurant expanded to open a small dining room that consisted of seven tables and the bar area. For many years, Alto Cinco packed its cozy dining room every night...feeling more like a West Village cantina than a Mexican restaurant in Central New York. Finally in 2014, Alto Cinco was given an opportunity to expand into the space next door. After months of renovations, Alto Cinco opened its doors to a much needed newly expanded dining room. This past year marked the restaurant's 20th anniversary. Alto Cinco is so thankful to each and everyone of its patrons for their continued support over the years! In 2013, Ms. Yorke opened OTRO CINCO (serving Spanish Tapas and Mexican), located in downtown Syracuse. Johanna is very genuine, chill, humble and fun to chat with. Enjoy...
Cyrus Batchan of Nightshade / Lock & Key shares his story
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October 07, 2019 04:18 PM PDT
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Cyrus Batchan is a business consultant in Sherman Oaks, California. He has significant “hands on” experience with businesses. Currently, he is involved in the hospitality businesses Lock & Key, Nightshade, Skylight Nha Trang, and East-West Brewery (as Advisor). Mr. Batchan grew up in a restaurant family and worked every job from dishwasher, cook, delivery driver to bartender. Initially, he managed an investment fund developing real estates all throughout the greater Los Angeles Area. In 2013, he opened Lock & Key, an upscale lounge, in Los Angeles. Most recently, he has been involved in Nightshade, the first restaurant for Top Chef winner Mei Lin along with partner Francis Miranda of N°8. The expansive space, which goes into the former Cerveteca, will feature a pan-Asian menu infused with modern touches and California sensibilities, with Lin herself calling the experience “fine food in a casual setting.” Think fine dining touches and plating with flavor influences from Italy, Japan, and China. In the early 2000s, Cyrus Batchan gained event management experienced and produced some of San Diego’s most innovative, high-profile events, creating a large following. Some events included the Suba Event Series held at Ventanas night club and the Vitamin Water VIP Reception during the Action Sports Retailers Convention. Instrumental in the launch of 944 Magazine’s San Diego edition, Batchan not only designed and executed special events for the magazine, but was responsible for the outstanding promotion of the magazine to the desired demographics. Cyrus Batchan was the creative force behind the success of the entertainment and beverage program of the W San Diego Innovative events supported by artful marketing set a new standard in the San Diego nightlife market. In collaboration with BBC, Cyrus developed a management team responsible for the production of very notable events and “ground-up” marketing and promotional blueprints for nightlife venues in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami. Throughout his industry tenure, the BBC team has managed the marketing programs for TWILO, GROOVEJET, LIFE, ROXY, CENTRO-FLY, USA, TUNNEL, REHAB, PALLADIUM, and TAO Las Vegas. Since 2015, Cyrus Batchan, has been a volunteer representative of Living Through Giving Foundation and the program #HashtagLunchbag. Cyrus facilitates the #HashtagLunchbag Vietnam chapter in providing housing and meal distribution for the Vietnamese community. For the benefit of young restaurant entrepreneurs, Cyrus shares his insights and experiences on his Blog at https://cyrusbatchan.blogspot.com/ Cyrus is the MAN! Enjoy...
Jeff Seizer and the story of Royale
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October 02, 2019 02:24 PM PDT
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Let's start with saying Jeff makes one of the best burgers on the planet. Period. Now that we've got that established, he's also a really cool guy who loves to talk hospitality and share his story and lessons he's learned over his year in the business. He worked at several New York restaurants and institutions before landing as Owner/Executive Chef of Royale in Raleigh. Chef Seizer was a sous chef at Union Square Cafe, on the opening team at Maialino, and a chef de cuisine at Gramercy Park Hotel. He then served as executive chef at the Langham Place, and two years as executive chef at Biricchino. And, once again, his burgers are AWESOME! Enjoy...
Restaurant Owner Quote: Matt Frey, Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream
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September 28, 2019 07:29 AM PDT
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Scott Crawford opens up about manic energy, sobriety, balance, and more.
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September 25, 2019 08:01 AM PDT
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Chef Scott Crawford opened Crawford and Son in Raleigh, NC November 2016 – a neighborhood restaurant referencing his commitment to family and community – and in 2018, it was named the “Triangle’s Restaurant of the Year.” Through his restaurant group, Crawford Hospitality, Crawford plans additional restaurants, including a French bistro, Jolie (opened August 2019) and modern American Steakhouse, Crawford Brothers. A five-time James Beard Foundation semifinalist for “Best Chef: Southeast,” Crawford also earned the coveted Forbes Five-Star award at Herons in The Umstead Hotel and Spa, at The Georgian Room at The Cloister Hotel and at The Woodlands Resort & Inn. Prior to opening Crawford and Son, he showcased his progressive take on Southern comfort food as executive chef of Standard Foods, where he also spearheaded the restaurant’s whole-animal butcher program and backyard feeder farm. Crawford’s leadership extends beyond the kitchen; he joined the Board of Ben’s Friends, and founded its Raleigh chapter – a support group for food and beverage professionals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Crawford is committed to introducing inspired restaurants, cultivating a healthy work-life balance in the culinary industry, and mentoring food and beverage professionals. Crawford also serves on the board for The Sunday Supper, and in 2018, led the team to raise $400K for Hurricane Florence victims. He also serves on the Honorary Committee of Healing Transitions – a place for recovery in downtown Raleigh. In 2019, The Triangle Business Journal recognized Crawford’s work, naming him “CEO of the Year.” When not in the kitchen, Crawford spends quality family time with his wife and two children, and is a mentor through Ben’s Friends.
Shawn Stokes and the story of Luna Rotisserie
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September 23, 2019 09:31 AM PDT
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Luna’s chef and owner, Shawn Stokes, has over 15 years experience in the restaurant industry. A 1998 graduate of Johnson & Wales University’s culinary arts program, he has worked in numerous successful establishments up and down the East Coast, including the Ritz Carlton in Naples, FL, Chillingsworth in Cape Cod, MA, Hank’s and Peninsula Grille in Charleston, SC, and Komi in Washington, DC. During his time in the industry, he served in front-of-house and back-of-house roles, gaining a well-rounded understanding of restaurant operations and management. In 2005, Shawn left the restaurant world to pursue a career in international development. He spent the next 10 years working in different parts of the world, gaining experience with organizations such as the US Peace Corps, USAID, UNICEF, CARE International, and Catholic Relief Services. Unable to stray too far from his culinary background, much of his work centered on improving global food systems. Most often, he lived and worked in Latin America, where he collaborated with coffee growers in Ecuador, subsistence farmers in El Salvador, shrimp fishermen in Mexico, and cattle ranchers in Brazil. Shawn and his wife, Maria, moved to Durham in 2009 and were struck by the exciting changes taking place in the city. Wanting to start a family, they soon decided to make Durham their home. It wasn’t long before Shawn could no longer resist contributing to Durham’s rapidly evolving culinary scene. Luna is the result of his love for Durham, Latin America, and delicious food. Luna opened four years ago this month, and is a very well-regarded restaurant in Durham. Shawn was welcoming, warm, kind, and honest with his story and his philosophies on what it takes not only to run a successful restaurant, but to run any successful business. Enjoy...
Corbett Monica and the story of Bella Monica and Stellino's
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September 19, 2019 07:50 AM PDT
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Corbett and his wife Julie opened Bella Monica in Raleigh, NC in 2000. Nineteen years later, it's still widely regarded as a badass institution in the fast-growing Raleigh restaurant scene. Two years ago, they opened Stellino's down the road in Cary, and we talked for over an hour about why Corbett got into hospitality, what he loves about it, his and Julie's mission and philosophies, and much more. Corbett is as genuine and humble and kind as they come, it was an honor to get to hang with him. Enjoy...
We serve restaurant people with business philosophies like our own
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September 14, 2019 11:07 AM PDT
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Wil shared some thoughts about how we and the customers we serve run our businesses in very similar ways.
Teddy Diggs and the story of Coronato Pizza
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September 12, 2019 01:03 PM PDT
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Teddy was born into a military family and traveled across the country for much of his childhood, exploring foods and cultures native to the locations wherever his dad was stationed. He loved learning and experiencing regional traditions and cuisine and fell in love with food because of it’s ability to connect people. Teddy worked in the restaurant industry while in high school and he later attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After culinary school, Teddy worked in the top kitchens in Washington D.C., focusing on high-end Italian cooking. In 2009, he was lured to Martha’s Vineyard to run a restaurant group that focused on the Island’s sustainable fishing and farming efforts and also ran the dining programs for two of the island’s top hotels where he was fortunate enough to have many varied restaurant operation experiences, including cooking for many celebrities and President Obama. Teddy moved to Chapel Hill with his wife and two daughters in 2014 to operate the Siena Hotel and Il Palio restaurant as their executive chef and food and beverage director. While at the hotel, his hospitality team realized many achievements both locally and nationally including an invitation to cook at the James Beard House in New York City. After 5 years at the Siena Hotel, Teddy felt that his purpose and impact on the hospitality industry could be furthered if he opened his own project. He gravitated to Roman cuisine, specifically Rome’s pizza culture, and fell in love with the concept that is now Coronato. He and Wil spoke for over an hour and dove into everything from a breakdown of the history of pizza to his path to sobriety to the value of hard, stressful situations. This is a very authentic, thoughtful conversation. Enjoy...
Sean Fowler of Mandolin in Raleigh shares his story
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September 06, 2019 01:54 PM PDT
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Sean was a history major in college in Virginia who didn't want to follow his buddies to Wall Street. Instead he hit the road to Jackson Hole, WY where he worked in restaurants and did a lot of snow skiing. He wound up at the Culinary Institute of America in Denver, CO and went on to work with several chefs in AAA Five Diamond restaurants to hone his skills before he opened Mandolin eight years ago. Today he and his wife run a thriving business, get much of their produce and eggs from their own farm, and are building an a new local institution in a building that once housed a long-time, popular pharmacy where Sean grew up going to after school, to hang at their lunch counter. This is a cool story and Sean is a great guy who we are very proud to serve. Enjoy...

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