A great restaurant can be a launching pad for creating a new product and partnering with a retail brand on a large scale. Doing so will bring your own name and brand to a fresh audience and open up new opportunities for revenue. Lena Kwak worked as a Research & Development Chef at The French Laundry before founding Cup4Cup, a premium gluten-free product line that’s sold at Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods, and Amazon Fresh, among many other retail outlets. We asked Lena all about her transition to the retail business and her advice for other chefs interested in creating product. Read on for tips!
On January 27-28, Chef Philip Tessier and his commis Skylar Stover of The French Laundry will go head to head with the world’s greatest chefs in the Bocuse d’Or, the most prestigious gastronomic competition in existence. Often dubbed the “Culinary Olympics,” the event is held every two years in Lyon, France and brings together the most promising chefs from 24 different countries as they cook for hours in front a live audience.
Chef Philip has been the Executive Sous Chef of The French Laundry for the past three years, overseeing the daily operations of the kitchen, and he’s been a part of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group since he started work at Per Se in 2004. We talked to Philip all about the upcoming contest — what he’s learned from his mentors, how he’s training, and his predictions for next week in Lyon.
Josh Harris is one half of the Bon Vivants, the cocktail, hospitality, and marketing firm behind the San Francisco bar Trick Dog. Along with his business partner Scott Baird, Josh has consulted on cocktail menus for Bay Area restaurants such as Comal and Kin Khao — so he knows what makes a bar program successful. Rule number one: “It needs to be more about the bar program, but not as much about the bar program. You need to pay just as much attention to the music and lighting as you do to the drinks — in the long term, they contribute to your total package.” Read on for more!
In a restaurant, a thoughtful training program ensures staff members are skilled and confident, and that they take pride in their work. There’s a reason so many of the world’s best chefs come from a background of fine dining and formal training! We asked the team at San Francisco’s Quince, General Manager Matt Cirne and Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Black, how they approach training at their two-Michelin-star restaurant. Here are their tips for developing members of the front of house and back of house.
Sometimes chefs need to get out of their own kitchens to grow their audience — and business. The team behind Foreign & Domestic in Austin, Texas created Indie Chefs Week to start a dialogue between chefs across the country. Their events bring young, aspiring chefs to their restaurant in Austin and beyond, sharing venue spaces and audiences to reach new customers. The flagship event is a face-to-face meeting of 30 chefs, who come together in a single venue to prepare multi-course meals for guests.