Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What's next for local winners of CNBC "Restaurant Startup"?

On Tuesday March 3, chef Steve Latona was the toast of Montgomery County Community College, and the school's Culinary Arts Institute, after he and fellow culinary instructor Mark Bellini prevailed on an episode of the CNBC show "Restaurant Startup." In case you missed it, you can watch it here (You'll need your cable provider username and password):


"Now I can show this in class," Latona commented.
A viewing party featuring a screening of the episode and a buffet-style luncheon sneak peek of Smoke Kitchen dishes, held for MCCC staff and students of  The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College, was hosted (and catered) by Montco's CAI in Towamencin.

At top is a bowl of chicken and andouille sausage gumbo. Above is a plate with (counterclockwise from right) a piece of Smoke Kitchen rotisserie chicken; poblano turkey meatloaf; roasted potatoes; Brussels sprouts with apples, bacon and shallots; and a cole slaw with purple cabbage.

When the restaurant opens in the Malvern area, the menu will also have sides that include four-bean salad and macaroni and cheese. Before the chicken hits the oak wood fire, it's brined for 12 hours, Latona said.
"I would like to thank the students for supporting chef Mark Bellini and chef Latona. You are making us so proud of what we've accomplished," said Dr. Victoria Basteki-Perez. MCCC's provost and vice-president of academic affairs.
"What it's done for the school is amazing. I'm very proud of what he's accomplished in a short period of time here," said Francine Marz, director of the CAI of MCCC. 

Latona, who intends to continue teaching at the culinary school, shared that he and Bellini prepared sliders, chicken salad and side dishes that didn't make it into the broadcast. Security was also very tight on the set. He described being constantly escorted by what sounded like the Secret Service. Stepping outside for a breath of air involved the walkie talkie communication: "Taking the talent outside."  
When asked about their competition from Austin, Texas' Ms. P's Electric Cock Fried Chicken, Latona -- who hinted he would've liked to have tasted their chicken -- said they were nice people and had appeared on other competitive culinary shows before.
When Latona and Bellini's pledged money from Tim Love arrives, a long process to building the Smoke Kitchen begins -- including securing a location, permits and a liquor license.
Image courtesy of CNBC

No comments:

Post a Comment