With the news that former Pacific Time chef/owner Jonathan Eismann is now a realtor, it seemed like an opportune time to reflect upon potential second careers for other local chefs. After all, we know that the restaurant biz is a bitch, and dining establishments don't last forever, and...well, let's just say that I'd like to lend a helping hand in return to those who have cooked so many a fine meal for me over the years,
Towards this end, I've decided to become their guidance counselor and make a few job suggestions just in case they should ever need it:
Alberto Cabrera of The Local Craft Food & Drink: Traveling Salesman. He's worked at so many restaurants that the man has gotta be good at packing up and hitting the road.
Allen Susser: Body Double for Zach Galifianakis. In difficult times, we do what we have to do.
Savvy advice for Michael Schwartz, Michelle Bernstein, Dewey LoSasso and others follows...
Michael Schwartz of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink: Farmer or Retailer. The former because I can see Michael contentedly and knowledgeably working the land. The latter because he's Jewish and probably has the necessary connections.
Cindy Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile: Tarot Card Reader. She's got sort of that gypsy look going with the signature scarf on her head, long hair, earrings...plus, I suspect, she possesses something of a New Age/bohemian streak. It just seems right.
Jeff McInnis of upcoming Yardbird Southern Table & Bar: Gigolo. He'd clean up.
Richard Hales of Sakaya Kitchen: Bouncer or Bodyguard. Hales is stocky, muscular, got more tattoos on his body than the Louvre has paintings on its walls, and when he isn't smiling he looks like a mean son-of-a-bitch. Would you try to get past him at the door?
Michelle Bernstein of Michy's; Sra. Martinez:Late-Night TV Huckster for Ginsu Knives. She's got the TV chops already hosting Check, Please on PBS. Imagine: "Hi, I'm Michelle Bernstein, the former doyen of dining in South Florida. You know what made me a cut above the rest? My 3-Lazer Edge Miracle Blade Ginsu Knife Kit, and now it's yours for just $39.95..."
Tim Andriola of Timo Restaurant & Bar: Spy of Secret Shopper. Andriola was chef de cuisine at Chef Allen's for five years; executive chef at Mark's South Beach; and chef/owner of the acclaimed Timo since 2003. Yet most local foodies wouldn't recognize Tim if they passed him on the street. This suggests he'd be a good spy if he could find the work; if not, then the latter, less glamorous position would have to do.
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Dewey LoSasso of The Forge: Studio Musician for Jimmy Buffett. Dewey is said to love playing guitar, and Buffett is one of the few Dewey-era musicians who record anywhere near here. The Margaritaville Man's music might not be LoSasso's "thing," but as another old-timer once noted: When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.
Norman VanAken: Executive Chef at Miami Culinary Institute. With his extensive restaurant background and gastronomic knowledge he'd be a natural at ... Huh? You say this has come to pass? Wow, I'm pretty good at this guidance thing!
BTW: Is Norman's 180 still around?