My name is Carmen Santone and I am the owner/operator of a restaurant/wine bar in a fairly small quaint town in the Piney Woods of east Texas.
While my wife and I very much enjoy living in our quaint town, (having spent the majority of my life in Philadelphia) we were growing very weary of having to travel a couple hours in either direction, to either Dallas or Houston, for the type of dining experience we had grown accustomed to much of our lives.
So this former musician threw his hat (yes, I know, albeit foolishly) into the restaurant business. I am currently the chef, with no culinary educational experience, and so have learned everything hands-on, including being owner/operator, chief, cook and bottle washer of a 95-seat restaurant.
I'm sure the seasoned of you know just how foolish an endeavor the undertaking of a serious restaurant is and, yes, in the last three years I have made countless mistakes and am still learning and tweaking systems each and every day. However, I will say that I am learning, along with my wife, and we have been the number one rated restaurant in town for the last two years and business is growing exponentially each and every month, all via word-of-mouth.
I have joined this community because I look forward to the insight the community can offer, from everyone including fellow operators, to prep cooks, line cooks (particularly saute since that is my current station and the wildest ride I've encountered) and kitchen managers and head chefs.
Having done this for even this short time and learning the time, dedication, commitment and sacrifice necessary to succeed in this industry, you have all earned my respect I wish you all the best. Everyone's advice, feedback and input is welcome!