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David Vargas, Chef/Owner, Vida Cantina brings his Mexican heritage and appreciation for local seasonal New England products to every plate at Vida Cantina in Portsmouth, NH. A James Beard-nominated chef, David grew up in Southern CA and spent time in Mexico as an exchange student. David works with the Kittery school system training the administration and staff, and teaching the students about healthy cooking and eating. David also is co-creator of Chefs After Dark, a friendly (raucous!) chef rivalry night among friends in the NH/MA/Maine chef community with hosted events raising funds for deserving local charities. David is also a leader in the region supporting NH Community Seafood, creating “Catch of the Day Tacos” with whatever fresh fish the collaborative hauls in. He earned a cult-like following for his home-made heritage corn tortillas, sourced with his own blend of local organic corn grown for him at Tuckaway Farms, resulting in David opening his own tortilla business, Vida Tortilla. These specialty tortillas are available at the popular Dos Amigos restaurants, Vida Cantina, and select New England restaurants.
Show notes… Calls to ACTION!!! Subscribe to the Restaurant Unstoppable YouTube Channel Join the private Unstoppable Facebook Group Join the email list! (Scroll Down to get the Vendor List!) Favorite success quote or mantra: Justify your existence. In today's episode with David Vargas we will discuss:
Being a wild child and growing up Feeling at home with restaurant industry workers Hospitality is treating people like family Living in Mexico City and learning to cook Culinary school and if you should go, very expensive Mentors Learning California-style cooking When to transition from line cook to head chef/restaurant owner Taking the next step in your career out of survival Learning food cost - reality vs. what you learn in culinary school You must be aware of what’s going on in your industry - talk to other chefs and restauranteurs If you’re not excited about your food, neither will your guests Sobriety in the industry Spend time away from your restaurant so that you long to be there Opening/operating a food truck Surviving (monetarily) a fire in your food truck Working as a mercenary chef Set your team up for success in their own lives and your business Catering Saying yes to everything Diversifying income Should we pay attention to services like Yelp? The power of getting involved with your community Cooking competitions Diversify your revenue streams Retail in your restaurant - online store and shipping advice Evolving because of COVID-19 - surviving the upcoming winter in NH (no outdoor dining) Today's sponsor: 7shifts is a modern labor management platform, designed by restaurateurs, for restaurateurs. Effectively labor management is more important than ever to ensure profitability and restaurant success. Trusted by over 400,000 restaurant professionals, 7shifts gives you the tools you need to streamline labor operations, communicate with your team, and retain your talent. Best of all 7shifts integrates with the POS and Payroll systems you already use and trust (like Toast!) turning labor into a competitive advantage for your business. Restaurant Unstoppable members get 3 months, absolutely free.
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