Mexican immigrant cooks his way to American dream

Mexican immigrant cooks his way to American dream

Luis Arce Mota arrived in New York City in the early 1990s with love in his heart and a burning desire to make it in the City of Dreams. “I started from the ground up,” says Mota, owner of La Contenta Restaurant, which boasts fine Mexican with French influences at two Manhattan locations. “As soon as I arrived in New York, I was drawn to the restaurant business because I knew I wouldn’t go hungry, and that workers like me…

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Harry Browne’s Restaurant: A Tribute to Uncle Harry

Harry Browne’s Restaurant: A Tribute to Uncle Harry

Thirty-nine years ago, Rusty Romo opened Harry Browne’s Restaurant in the heart of Annapolis as a tribute to his uncle. He and uncle Harry had dreamed of opening their own place once Harry was retired from a career in New Jersey and Romo had graduated college. “My uncle and I were always very close, and we planned to do a restaurant venture when he retired because he was a real foodie,” Romo says. “In my junior year at the University…

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Volunteer at homeless camp launches new restaurant

Volunteer at homeless camp launches new restaurant

A few years ago, a sophisticated Las Vegas restauranteur went back home to his roots, where he would help humanity, and indeed, himself. With long years of culinary history under his belt, including a 15-year stint at MGM in Vegas, Jeff Voyles decided to do two things at once: help feed and clothe the homeless living in two camps near St. Louis, and build a dream restaurant with friends and partners on Main Street in his hometown of Belleville, IL….

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Uncorking the secret to happy customers

Uncorking the secret to happy customers

In a beautiful tasting room overlooking a 60-acre estate, visitors sip the wines produced by the very fields of grapes they cast their gaze upon. And as they indulge their senses in the panorama that unfolds, they also learn about the grapes, the soil, the harvests, and especially the glorious effort that goes in to every varietal produced by Alexana Winery. “In a perfect world, if you’re laying out a business model for selling wine, the best possible margins come…

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The Roosevelt is at the heart of New Orleans

The Roosevelt is at the heart of New Orleans

Three days before Mardi Gras, the seat belts were being fastened at The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria hotel at the edge of the vibrant French Quarter. “It’s madness right now,” says Food and Beverage Manager Myles Holdsworth. “The city goes wild for two weeks, and then we have Ash Wednesday. For our part, we fasten our seat belts and go into overdrive to provide the very best experience for our guests.” Guests who expect the finest luxury are…

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Restaurant warrior seizes St. Louis

Restaurant warrior seizes St. Louis

Opening a new restaurant is like going to war. There’s a Seal Team Six mentality required, says St. Louis’s 2017 Restauranteur of the Year Zoe Robinson. “You need to be in tip-top shape, emotionally and physically, and prepared for everything,” says Robinson, who threw open the doors to her third restaurant, Billie Jean, in St. Louis this past December. In this week’s Q&A with Recipe for Success @ Boxerbrand, Robinson offers insights before dashing off to manage her Italian, French…

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Seasoned French chef simmers in Chi-Town

Seasoned French chef simmers in Chi-Town

Some might say that Chef Dominique Tougne rose through the culinary ranks much like his delicious, slow-roasted dishes, with purpose and patience. Seasoned to perfection over time, the popular lamb shank and braised short ribs on the menu at Chez Moi Bistro of Chicago are a reflection of a chef who does not believe in rushing the prep, nor in cutting corners in the evolution of learning one’s craft. A French native who spent years honing his skills at culinary…

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Miami designer builds design biz in native Belize

Miami designer builds design biz in native Belize

When Belize native Tanya McNab was denied an extension on her student visa a decade ago, and forced to give up her dream job at a Florida design firm, she felt sucker punched. She’d graduated with distinction from the Miami International University of Art and Design, and was flying high with a Ft. Lauderdale design firm, when the rug was pulled out from under her. “At the time that I left (the USA) I thought it was the worst thing…

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Jock hits grand slam in restaurant biz

Jock hits grand slam in restaurant biz

Long before it was “cool to cook,” Wade Barkman would sneak back to his dorm room after baseball practice and prepare a new recipe. And while he dreamed in those early junior-college days of playing shortstop for the New York Yankees, a different career aspiration simmered on the backburner. Until finally, after graduating Texas A&M business school with a degree in business management, Barkman turned up the heat on his true passion, answering the calling to cook. After graduating the…

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Mother’s cooking adds sparkle to gray city

Mother’s cooking adds sparkle to gray city

Lisa Schroeder was unhappily pulling 13-hour shifts in a fast-paced career when the simple question “What’s for dinner?” turned her life around. While deciding between Chinese, Thai, or other delivery options, Schroeder remembers that what she really wanted, and yet nowhere to be found, was a comforting, satisfying meal that only a mother can make. “Back in the early 90s, I worked as a telemarketer for major companies to try to help our family. I worked for Publisher’s Clearinghouse before…

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