Chef Bill Montagne, 2018 Jean Banchet Award Winner, Brings a Refined & Approachable Cooking Style to Nico Osteria

Chef Bill Montagne, 2018 Jean Banchet Award Winner, Brings a Refined & Approachable Cooking Style to Nico Osteria
  • Award winning chef de cuisine stresses the importance of finding a passionate mentor.

  • Surrounded by great chefs that inspired him, Bill Montagne leads Nico Osteria’s kitchen with passion.

“When I was a kid, I was lucky enough that a couple of my uncles were chefs. We would have family gatherings and my uncles would come over and teach me little tricks...” says Bill Montagne, chef de cuisine of Nico Osteria in Chicago.

Cooking alongside relatives who had worked in restaurants like the Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, Montagne’s passion for cooking began at home.

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4 Things Every Chef Should Do When Inheriting a Crew

4 Things Every Chef Should Do When Inheriting a Crew

By Adam M Lamb, Foodable Industry Expert

This year may very well be a pivotal year for your culinary career. 

The U.S. Department of Labor still paints a rosy picture for chefs and foodservice workers with an expected increase of more than 11 percent in jobs over the next decade, far higher than most professions. Most of these opportunities will come from filling positions vacated by those transitioning to other careers.

This is tempered by the reality that this an election year and shows a lot of uncertainty for the years following. Media sources have reported that the next several years could very well be marked by flat or very modest increases in traffic and sales.

New restaurant openings in the past 18 months have increased, but their profitability and viability have decreased, making opening a new restaurant — or being employed by one — an increasingly expensive gamble.

Given this information and considering the odds, if you land a new position in 2016, there is a high probability that it will be in an existing operation with a mandate from ownership to shore up profit, limit exposure on costs, or increase marketshare by redesigning the menu or updating the concept.

While each of those objectives are indeed important and worthy of your efforts, coming into an existing operation with an established crew, no matter the level of skill or commitment, with a mission to make your mark may be setting yourself and the operation up for failure from jump street. You’re not going to be able to complete those shared aspirations without help from those that you surround yourself with.

Below are four things every smart chef should do when inheriting a crew in an existing operation.

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In the Kitchen: 2014 Predictions from a Chef

In the Kitchen: 2014 Predictions from a Chef

As we bid farewell to 2013 and ring in a new year, the importance of preparation becomes more stressed, especially in an industry that’s constantly evolving. One can only be so prepared for what the future holds, but gaining insight through industry professionals can certainly help. Last week, we gave readers predictions from three restaurant executives of what 2014 has in store. We’ve also recently covered what you can expect to happen on the social and digital front. The two – social & digital and the restaurant industry – are becoming much more integrated as chefs become more savvy on social media platforms and technology in restaurants continues to thrive. 

But what’s a 2014 prediction series without some chef involvement? After all, the chef is the backbone of a restaurant. Luckily, we were able to pull Chef Justin Beckett, Executive Chef & Owner of Beckett’s Table in Phoenix, AZ, out of the kitchen for a bit to talk social media, culinary trends and technology in the dining room.

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