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[MUSIC] I tell people I got into this probably untraditionally.
I was not going to school for being a chef
but, I grew up in a household that was middle
eastern. And at breakfast we talked about lunch. At lunch
we talked about dinner. At dinner we talked about what's
for breakfast tomorrow. And that's what it was, it was
a constant stream of. Food analysis. I didn't know it
back then, but it was this daily ritual. My family
was nurturing something for the future. And, it never felt
so natural as when I was in France. Then, when
I got out of school, cooking school, I started cooking.
It was like, it wasn't work. It was just like,
a joy of doing this. [MUSIC] My goal in a
restaurant, in any restaurant, is to make it an unexpected
journey, like you wow I didn't expect that. It's unexpectedly
good. We don't promise, we under-promise and we try to
over-deliver all the time. If you do that, you get
the cold food cold, the hot food hot. Great hospitality,
it's a good restaurant and you just need to be
good to survive. Cuz greatness is really hard. Greatness comes
over years and years of being good. I mean, I
can do all kinds of culinary tricks and jump out
of the box but that's not what it's all about.
It's about their experience and having a customer have a
real great time. John and Christine Gachot, who helped design
this, just got it. I said I want tropical Cuba
meets that south of France with a little nod towards
modernity and Florida. Just keep Florida in mind, and they
got it. I put the bar right in the middle
of the room so people walking can see the bartender
shaking drinks, drinking out of frozen glasses, and they get
wow, we have to come here for a drink. You're
on the beach. We're on the ocean so we want
to be a seafood restaurant not really we want to
be a coastal restaurant which means we will have more
than just seafood so we have a lot of great
grilled fish items and I think the grilled fish and
crudo and the raw Bari's gonna be what you see
a lot of A lot of people fill in with.
And I'm happy about that because there's a lightness to
it. There's a Mediterranean to it, it's a great diet.
Hospitality breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. It doesn't take a
vacation. You don't shut the lights off at five. The
office is closed. You know those people who say, I'm
out of the office now. They can just put it
on their email, how's that possible?