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Kulinary School

Author: Jonathan Schroeder

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Kulinary School is a community that brings foodservice professionals and food lovers together to teach, inspire and challenge one another to continue to push the boundaries of the foodservice industry. Join us on our journey as we sit down and interview restaurant owners, chefs, and everyone else in the foodservice community. You'll hear the story behind these people and discuss current events in the industry that answer your questions and inspire you.
31 Episodes
Chef Bill Bracken, cofounder and culinary director, of Bracken’s Kitchen is my guest this week on the podcast. Chef Bill has an incredible story from growing up in Kansas and discovering his passion for food, winning a scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America and moving to the west coast. Living in California, Chef Bill worked for multiple luxury hotels and restaurants while receiving many awards and recognition along the way. Fast forward to today, Chef is taking what he learned from his experience to serve hot and nutritious meals to those in need. Check out this week’s episode to hear how the Bracken’s Kitchen team is changing the lives of families in Orange County, California. 
Amanda McAllister is the Director of Capital Purchasing for Red Robin. In the episode, Amanda  shares her journey, experience with food growing up, why she decided to work at Red Robin and why she is still there today. We also discuss the dine in guest experience, off premise and third party delivery, the emergence of new brands, sticking to what you’re good at, attracting younger people to the industry and she gives advice to her younger self who is getting ready to get started working in the foodservice industry. 
Industry news for 7/2
Industry news for 6/19
Celebrity Chef Jaime Laurita is my guest this week on the podcast. Jaime has an incredible story from attending the Culinary Institute of America, working for catering companies, traveling the world with top celebrities and rockstars to his newest venture as Creative Director for The Middleby Corporation. In the episode, Jaime talks about his love for music and entertainment which lead him on a quest to find the coolest job in the world. He shares stories from the road, working in a chaotic environment, putting on a show and how he stayed energized while making sure the artists were happy and focused. He talks about his experience on the road and how that helps him bring that same energy and atmosphere to your home experience with Middleby Residential and working with the top brands in the world. 
Shawn Lange, co-founder and President of L2F Inc., is my guest this week on the podcast. L2F  is a company that focuses on creating opportunities for people with robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. In the episode, Shawn shares the story of L2F and how in 2016 they made a strategic decision to focus on the foodservice industry. We discuss initial challenges with robotics in the foodservice industry, misconceptions about robotics in foodservice, automating the back of the house to create a better front of the house experience, improving customer operations and better work environments for employees, extracting useful data and how L2F is changing the foodservice industry. (This episode is available on all major podcast platforms)
Erik Oberholtzer, co-founder of Tender Greens, is my guest this week on the podcast. Tender Greens is a chef-led kitchen serving seasonal and responsibly-sourced food to improve the way people eat. In this episode Erik talks about his upbringing and how he fell in love with food and the foodservice industry. He shares the story of Tender Greens and the early days of how the concept came to life, he shares some early challenges, being able to adapt, expanding from CA to NY, he gives advice to anyone who is considering opening a restaurant and my favorite part of the discussion: he talks about what gets him out of bed in the morning. He talks about transforming lives and having a positive impact on the world. (This episode is available on all major podcast platforms)
This weeks guest is Otto Othman of Pincho Factory. Born and raised in Brazil, Otto moved to the States in 2001. It was during a family BBQ where he and his cousins had some liquid courage and talked about opening a restaurant. Two days later, his cousin called him and asked if he was serious about the restaurant because he was already looking for restaurant space. So, it looked like they were opening a restaurant. There was only one problem, Otto had only worked in advertising and his cousin had little restaurant experience. With $77,000 to their name, the Pincho team was going to open a restaurant. The idea was to create a kick ass menu that was simple, had 8 menu items but the food was perfect. After a few months of testing menu ideas Otto’s cousins called him on Tuesday and said they needed to open on Saturday because they only had $6.27 left in the account. With no team, no employees, no training, they decided to open. On Thursday, Otto threw his birthday party at the restaurant and found a couple of employees to train and get ready for the opening on Saturday. They watched YouTube videos and reached out to anyone who would give them the time of day to ask advice on how to open and run a restaurant. After hours of YouTube videos, social media posts and reaching out to invite everyone they knew, they opened the restaurant with 400 guests and the rest is history. This episode is packed with a ton of great stories and messages. In the episode Otto shares the (hilarious) story of Pincho, he talks about checking your ego at the door, finding great mentors, having passion for hospitality, knowing what drives you, supporting the community, never doubting yourself and dreaming big! 
Industry news for the weeks of 2/18
NAFEM recap and industry news for the week of 2/4
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