The Rebel Yell: Saying "No" To Diners

On this episode of Chef AF, our host Chef Jim Berman sits down with the unapologetic Chef Norrawit “Wit” Milburn, who claims “I don’t do hospitality, I just make bomb-ass food.” Wit, as he prefers to be called, is the Chef and Co-Owner of Delaware’s Ubon Thai Cuisine, Kapow Kitchen and two food trucks, alongside his wife.

The two restaurant industry veterans share their insights on how to go about encouraging “picky eaters” about trying new foods and tips for chef and operators who are not sure what they should serve kids at restaurants.

One of the questions our host, Chef Berman, poses is “Is it our job, is it our responsibility to educate customers? Is that a fool’s errand? Is that a higher calling that maybe we just can’t answer to?”

Chef Wit eloquently responds: “As a business person? No. But, as a Chef? Yes!”

Take a listen to this fun episode to make sense of all this information and laugh alongside these two cooks as they help us understand a chef’s creative mindset!


Hosted by:

Jim Berman

JIM BERMAN

Expert Columnist / Show Host


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Clawing Their Way to the Top: Q&A with Up and Comers, Cousins Maine Lobster

Clawing Their Way to the Top: Q&A with Up and Comers, Cousins Maine Lobster

Cousins Maine Lobster is not your typical lobster offering. You won’t find them serving hot, buttered lobster over a white tablecloth with champagne and caviar. Instead, you’ll find them slinging out traditional, buttered and toasted split-top rolls filled with chilled Maine lobster meat from their 19 food trucks, the way owners (and cousins) Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac say it should be.

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Founder of Slapfish, a FoodTruck Turned Fast Casual Shares Success Stories and Some of his Past Mistakes

Founder of Slapfish, a FoodTruck Turned Fast Casual Shares Success Stories and Some of his Past Mistakes

Once upon a time, Slapfish, which now has six stores in California, was just a food truck cruising southern Cali serving fish sandwiches and tacos with sustainable seafood. 

Andrew Gruel,the 36-year-old founder of the concept, started working in the fine dining industry, but his life changed when he began a position as the director of Seafood at the Aquarium of the Pacific. 

In 2011, he missed the restaurant industry and decided to start a new venture because he recognized that there was a gap in the restaurant market. 

"At the time there was a huge gap in the market. The only option you had for seafood was fine dining or cheap Long John Silver’s style. In every other sector of food you started to see better pizza, the better burger movement. In the fast casual realm, a step up from fast food and a step down from casual dining, there was nothing for seafood," said Gruel to "Forbes."

With limited funds available, Gruel leased a truck and started to serve only three menu items out of it big sloppy fish sandwich, a fish taco and a lobster roll. He would hit up popular areas in Orange County and Los Angeles first. 

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Three Restaurants Go Head-to-Head for "Top Dish"

Three Restaurants Go Head-to-Head for "Top Dish"

“Top Dish” is a multi-part mini-series that pits three top Canadian restaurants — one in Montreal, one in Vancouver, and another in Toronto — against each other to reveal the best dish. These restaurants’ chefs will go head to head to deliver the best dish — one they have chosen themselves to best represent their talents, style, and concept.

How It’s Scored

The scoring system for “Top Dish” includes, as per usual, our proprietary Foodable Labs data. But to shake things up a bit, we’ve also enlisted top local food influencers to be critics in each city.

Each critic’s responsibility is to taste the chef’s featured dish (tough job, right?) and then give an honest on-camera critique — not in front of the chef, of course. Perhaps most importantly, our critics are tasked to privately rate different elements of the dish and experience to later determine an overall score, which will be revealed at the end so as not to give anything away. The overall scores for each restaurant are broken down into three parts: the critic’s scorecard (which consists of many elements — from selection and tableware to plating and ingredients — on a 1-10 scale), food sentiment tracked by Foodable Labs, and service sentiment, also tracked by Foodable Labs. In total, a restaurant can earn up to 270 points.

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Four Seasons Takes to the Streets with New Food Truck Concept

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There has been some concern within the restaurant business regarding food trucks stealing business from regular brick-and-mortar establishments. Instead of fighting back against this new segment, Four Seasons figures, 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!'

Thus sparked the creation of The FS Taste Food Truck - FS standing for Four Seasons, of course.  The new concept is aimed at taking Four Seasons' high-end cuisine to the streets, making it accessible to a larger audience.  Guy Rigby, VP of food and beverage, said in a recent press release, “Food is a passion for us at Four Seasons and we are always seeking to share that in inspiring and exciting ways, whether it’s through a Michelin-star dining experience or the perfect beer and burger pairing at one of our gastropubs."  Read More