Chefs aren't just cooks, they're CEOs.
Here's a taste of their business wisdom.
Food is fashion in America, and cooks have gone from servants to
masters," says Cory Schreiber, chef-owner of Portland, Oregon's
Wildwood Restaurant & Bar and himself a cookbook author and
television personality. "To succeed, you have to learn to think
like a business person."
Boy, have chefs done exactly that. A generation ago, chefs rarely
poked their noses out of the kitchen - and even more rarely did
they own those kitchens - but now they are multimedia stars and
CEOs of miniconglomerates. The Food Network alone is a nonstop
shrine to the cooks who have turned themselves into
But the failure rate of restaurants still tops 95 percent, and even
those that succeed don't necessarily produce a chef-cum-business
empire. Exactly what do today's celebrity chefs know about climbing
to the top in a treacherous business? Read on for heaping servings
of wisdom from celebrated cooks.
Little Things Count
"The hottest table in town" - that's how Gourmet magazine describes
Babbo, Mario Batali's signature restaurant in Greenwich Village.
Batali himself just may be the hottest chef around. His other
Manhattan eateries (Lupa and Esca) are always full, he has his own
show on Food Network ("Molto Mario"), and he's just introduced a
line of pasta sauces at the Trader Joe's gourmet shops.