This week, we speak with Tao Group‘s Ralph Scamardella, who is head chef and partner at one of the biggest fine dining restaurant groups in the country. According to Restaurant Business, the Tao Group has seven restaurants ranked in the top 100, including #1 Tao Asian Bistro in Las Vegas ($42,470,345) plus two other in the top 10, including Tao Downtown in New York City (No. 3 at $33,401,819) and Lavo New York (No. 7 with $26,822,655).
Scamardella describes how he began at the bottom of the industry, working his way up from dishwasher to assistant to head chef. He worked at various highly regarded restaurants, legendary rooms like Plaza Hotel’s French restaurant and at Polo under legendary chef Daniel Boulud, focusing on the business side of the “back of the house.” Every great chef has to not only be a very good chef, but understand the needs of ingredients, recipes, equipment, managing staff, understanding budgeting & costs, staffing, logistics, hospitality, and more. Its far more complex than most people realize.
Scamardella describes himself as a decent cook, but an excellent spotter of talent. The key to a great restaurant is a great team all working together.
The transcript of our conversation is posted here.
You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Bloomberg, Overcast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, and Bloomberg.
Next week, we speak with Rick Wilson, the conservative Republican Campaign Consultant, and author of Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President.