The personal drive to become successful isn’t taught in any classroom. It’s something that comes from within. Just ask Chef Sam Gorenstein of My Ceviche in Miami, Florida. Having immigrated to the US with his family as a teenager, Sam has worked tirelessly in pursuit of his American dream. Now the chef and entrepreneurial owner of several My Ceviche restaurants (with more in the works), Sam is proving that casual dining can offer the same freshness of ingredients, complexity of flavor and aesthetic creativity as fine dining; and he’s accomplished all of this before even turning 30.
The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin "One of the first books that I read was Jacques Pepin’s memoir. I started reading that book when I was 16 years old. It really gave me an inside look on becoming a chef and at life in the kitchen."
"Inspiration comes from daily experiences, from places that I’ve traveled to, dishes that I taste, and ingredients that I get to know, see, touch, and smell. Seasonality and availability also play a big part. And, finally, understanding what our customers want. It’s a quest to perfect the flavors in a ceviche – you have to find the right balance.”
"Let’s be honest: school doesn’t work for everybody. For some people it does. But it doesn’t necessarily teach you how to cook; rather, it teaches you the techniques, how to be responsible, and it can help you break into the kitchen and into the industry. The biggest lessons, though, come from the school of hard knocks. The best experiences come from working in the real world. As a young chef, try to pinpoint great restaurants and get in their door somehow, at any cost, and just work hard.”
"At My Ceviche, we always have the TV turned to sports games, especially soccer matches. Our customers sit around the restaurant and root for their team while enjoying food. And that feeling of competition works up a hearty appetite. I’ve found that gathering around a TV for a sports game is the perfect opportunity to unleash your talents in the kitchen to satiate all the sports enthusiasts, even if it’s just in the comfort of your own apartment.
Good food is probably one of the easiest ways to get someone to join you for a night of fun – people who aren’t too interested in the game on TV will always find a way to join you if there are plenty of delicious options.
So, the next time there’s a big game on, invite your friends out to the local bar or host a small gathering with plenty of snack options (think mini tacos with fresh chips and dip)!"