Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:23 pm
Hometown: Milwaukee area
Education: Milwaukee Area Technical College, hotel and hospitality management
Previous position: General manager, Rare Steakhouse, downtown Milwaukee
Current position: Food and beverage operations manager, Ambassador Hotel
Why stay in Milwaukee?
“If I was at this point in my career 20 years ago, I probably would not have stayed in Milwaukee. But with the explosion of the food and wine scene here in the last five to eight years, there are so many great opportunities that I think even little Milwaukee compares to some of those big food cities when it comes to our food scene.”
How do you stay ahead of restaurant industry competition?
“It’s a small city, so everybody knows everybody. It’s very easy to get references, but if you’re not good at what you do, it’s hard to find jobs. A big part of staying ahead is education, work ethic and gaining knowledge. I’m not afraid to travel and try restaurants in New York, San Francisco and around the world and experience the food scene in other cities. I put a lot of effort into gaining that knowledge.”
What influences you in your profession?
“Food was always important in my family, growing up, and so was wine. I am Sicilian and Polish and both my grandparents were born in Europe, so I grew up with a lot of European influences – for example, being able to taste wine at 10 years old at the dinner table. I feel those traditions did guide me in the food and wine direction.”
“If I was going to open a restaurant, I would want to open a really cool, Italian-style, old school steakhouse. When you think of places that Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would eat back in the old days in New York and Chicago, that’s something I would love to have someday.”
Any food/restaurant blog recommendations?
“Eater NY. A bunch of different chefs write all kinds of articles on different restaurants around the New York area and happening trends with food.”