A few weeks ago the James Beard Foundation released their list of Semifinalists for the 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award categories, honoring the best chefs, bakers and restaurants across the country. We asked the team — Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation, and Phil Vettel, a member of the foundation — for the story behind the list. Read on for their insights on the selection process and industry trends, and look out for their announcement of the final nominees on March 24th.
At sbe, the global hospitality and entertainment company known for top-tier restaurants like Katsuya and The Bazaar by Jose Andres, restaurants are just one piece of a business that also includes hotels, casinos, and nightclubs. John Kolaski is the Chief Operating Officer of sbe’s restaurant division, which means he’s constantly working with the other divisions to explore how dining fits into the larger experience of entertainment.
“People are not just going out to eat because they’re hungry,” he says. Instead, they’re going out for an experience — and sbe has the advantage of being able to own that experience from start to finish, from checking into the hotel to ending the night at a club.
Here, we ask John all about the changing role of restaurants into brands, and how dining has evolved into a form of entertainment on par with a night at the theater.
As the owner of four restaurants in downtown Toronto — Little Anthony’s, Estiatorio Volos, Los Colibris, and El Caballito — Andreas Antoniou knows how to develop a successful concept. He also knows how to build teams he can trust and delegate responsibilities so he can juggle several different businesses at once. His restaurants run the gamut from casual Mexican to upscale Greek cuisine, but each one has the individuality and authenticity to create memorable experiences that keep guests coming back.
Here, we ask Andreas what it takes to launch a new concept and how he sets his businesses up for success from the start. Read on to learn his biggest challenges, priorities, and what makes today’s Toronto food scene more exciting than ever before.
OpenTable’s annual sales conference brings together our entire field team, from Tennessee to Tokyo, for a week devoted to sharing ideas, inspiration, and (of course) food. This year we invited a few local San Francisco restaurateurs to participate in a panel discussion about industry trends, business challenges, and how they aim to raise the bar for hospitality. See highlights in the video above!
Chef Timothy Hollingsworth has spent the bulk of his culinary career at The French Laundry, where he cooked along Thomas Keller on the line. After 14 years with TKRG, he moved down to Los Angeles to open his own concept last fall: Barrel & Ashes, a bourbon and barbecue restaurant spotlighting the nostalgic foods he grew up eating in Houston, Texas.
In this Q&A, we ask Timothy all about his fine-dining background, how it translates to barbecue, and how the face of “fine dining” is changing is evolving overall to adapt to new tastes and formats.