A Porsche & home-cooking started his journey with food

A Porsche & home-cooking started his journey with food

What powered Chef Craig Strong onto the international hospitality stage were twin goals: A desire to own a convertible 914 Porsche, and a passion to be the best chef he could be. Those aspirations, emerging when he was just 15, propelled him toward the hospitality industry, and inspired him to work very hard to seize every opportunity. Doors opened for Strong. Some of the best kitchens in Paris and Spain eventually welcomed the hard-working young man.  And under the tutelage…

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Charleston partners open 3rd restaurant on same block

Charleston partners open 3rd restaurant on same block

When the owners of two popular restaurants in Charleston, S.C. decided to open a third, they asked themselves one question: “Who doesn’t love Italian food?” And with that, the creators of Melfi’s restaurant, dove in. Spending two years researching the cuisine and wines of Italy, and perfecting their trademark Romanesque pizza, (along with full pasta menu and traditional fare), the new eatery fired up its two beautiful wood-fired ovens last month. “It’s going great!” says General Manager Adam Gainer. “We…

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East meets West in modernized Indian cuisine

East meets West in modernized Indian cuisine

The menu at Indian restaurant IndeBlue goes far beyond chicken korma and basmati rice. Chef/owner Rakesh Ramola, originally of Bombay City, India, opened IndeBlue of Philadelphia with the dream of introducing a larger audience to Indian food. And of modernizing the pallet while rooting his dishes in tradition. The results, says the 25-year hospitality business veteran, have made IndeBlue a “hopping Washington Square restaurant” that serves a broad audience and an even broader cuisine. “A lot of Indian restaurants in…

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Seems like old times at MM Shapley’s

Seems like old times at MM Shapley’s

For Mark and Mary Shapley of Mississippi, it feels like old times since the couple decided to roll up their sleeves and reopen their wildly popular steakhouse this past summer. The doors to MM Shapley’s Restaurant (formerly Shapley’s Restaurant) in Ridgeland were thrown open in July following extensive renovations and a 20-year hiatus from the hospitality business. “In 1988, we sold the business (but retained ownership of the 8,000 square foot building it was in) so we could raise our…

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Fine sparkling wine, a chateau—dreams fulfilled

Fine sparkling wine, a chateau—dreams fulfilled

Sitting atop a knoll in Napa Valley lays a grand chateau that embodies a French winemaker’s dream; to find a slice of California soil and bring forth something amazing. On the cool-climate tract of land, perfect for cultivating sumptuous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, the Taittinger family of Reims, France grew their crop. And slowly, under the watchful eye of founding winemaker Eileen Crane, the sparkling wines eventually took their rightful place in the competitive world of fine wine, attracting…

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Luncheonette boosts its look and profits!

Luncheonette boosts its look and profits!

Johnny’s Luncheonette in Newton Centre, Mass., has been serving up memories and good food for over 20 years. Started in 1996 by a couple of guys who aimed to create a diner similar in feel to the fictional coffee shop Monk’s Café on the popular sitcom Seinfeld, the upbeat eatery, with its 1950s-style booths and laminated countertops, has served up memories and good food ever since. “When John Fuerst and Neal Solomon first opened Johnny’s in 1996, they wanted it…

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La Voile sails on with 2nd location

La Voile sails on with 2nd location

Eleven years after crossing the Atlantic with original furnishings, stellar French recipes, and the desire to bring authentic French food to the restaurant-saturated city of Boston, a good wind has filled the sails of La Voile Restaurant of Newbury Street. Riding a tide of popularity, the French restaurant, its name means “the sail,” opened a second location in nearby Brookline, Mass., attracting regular customers with classic French service and food offerings. In this week’s Q&A with the Recipe for Success…

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Defense contractors nail it with Alexandria café

Defense contractors nail it with Alexandria café

What do a couple of defense contractors know about the hospitality biz? Plenty. Café 44 in Alexandria, Va., which got its start in 2016 as a “glorified break room” serving military personnel a couple of “squares” at breakfast and lunch, has blossomed into a full-on dining experience, which has breathed new life into the Potomac River waterfront in Alexandria, Va. Cofounder Jula Jane began Café 44 in 2016 with her partner Keith Coggins of defense contracting company Coggins International. The…

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NYC couple left city in ’03 to make fresh start, comfort food

NYC couple left city in ’03 to make fresh start, comfort food

On the very day of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City, restauranteurs Marc Propper and his wife Michelle Silver were expecting their second child. “Our son was actually due on 9/11, but fortunately he was born a couple days later, and after that, we started thinking about slowing down, and possibly starting something new upstate.” Two years later in May, the couple opened the doors of Miss Lucy’s Kitchen (named for their first child) in Saugerties, and…

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MIT brain-science grad lands on Cloud 9

MIT brain-science grad lands on Cloud 9

An MIT grad with a bachelor’s degree in brain and cognitive science returned home to Boise, Idaho to make his dream of owning a brew pub come true. Jake Lake opened Cloud 9 Brewery in 2014 after leaving the hallowed halls of Boston academia to grind out success in the hospitality business. Along the way, he became a professional in IT, and rolled the dice financially on the venture before reaping the benefits. In this week’s Q&A with Recipe for…

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