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and I started working at the Flatiron location when it opened 8 years ago. I started working at Il Pesce as a line cook and became a sous chef there and then I wanted to do something new, and then about a year and a half/2 years later, I came to Manzo as a line cook and worked my way through the stations. After 2 years, I became sous chef and after about 2 years I became the chef here for 3 years. So I have been at Eataly ever since it has opened and I have been able to stay here so long because there is always something new here, a new challenge to learn and everyday, everyweek there is something new and different going on. It’s great to run your own restaurant while fitting in with the Eataly structure. AM: What’s an average day like for you at Manzo? CHEF AH: I don’t know if there is ever an average day especially in the restaurant business and especially at Eataly. On average, I come in and check in with the sous chef to make sure that we’re on the same page as far as running the specials, double checking with what the line cooks are doing, always walking around and talking with everyone tasting everything to make sure it tastes right before we go into lunch or dinner service. Talking with the General Manager to make sure we’re on the same page in terms of specials and changes to the menu. As we go into service making sure that we are expediting service and that food comes together at the same time. Making sure it’s right before it goes out. As we are getting through service, making sure that we are cleaning up and that everyone is taking their breaks. The best way to explain the difference between being a cook and a chef is that a cook is a player on the team, but when you are the chef, you have to be the coach and it’s hard for some people to make that adjustment because

when you’re the chef, it’s no longer about being the best player, it’s about making sure that your players are doing the best that they can and that your cooks are as well prepared as they can be. Making sure that as a chef, we’re always teaching and always having people think about the next step and training the person behind them to make sure that they are getting ready for a new station. For example, today walking kind of slow so that the person who is on salad station is learning on veg station and maybe the person on veg station learns how to grill meat and the person on meat station begins to learn on pasta. Some of the more advanced people can do the chef thing. It’s all about teaching and making sure that the cooks know that it’s not just a job to them, but that they are learning as much as they can while they are here. In this business, when people aren’t learning, they will put in a year on their resume and they will go elsewhere. The more that you can keep them invested and buying in, it keeps them engaged and hopefully you have a good succession plan so that you have a full circle of training happening. AM: We truly enjoyed attending a recent Chef Collaborations dinner at Eataly where the menu was created by you and Chef Gabriel Kreuther. What is the purpose of the chefs series that took place there and how did it mold the menu as you partnered with different chefs through this series? CHEF AH: We had this idea about a year ago as we had done a renovation of Manzo’s dining room. The kitchen is now in the dining room and it was an idea to help cross promote Manzo as well as the guest chefs, with some of the proceeds going to charity. It was a great opportunity for our guest chefs as well as for me to work with them to learn different styles of cooking. The style of food and chefs definitely

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Athleisure Mag Sep 2018  

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