“Being Inspired” by Chef/Owner Joe Rimer

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Owning and being the chef of a small private restaurant is both a challenging and rewarding experience. The long hours and constant effort are worth it for one major reason: the opportunity to create from inspiration. While many people might immediately think of the menu, inspiration permeates every aspect of the restaurant. It influences the interior and exterior design, the style, the beverages, the type of experience we train our staff to provide, and essentially every facet of the dining experience. Our restaurant is a living, evolving entity, constantly striving to improve and delight our guests. To truly bring any concept to life, inspiration must touch all levels of the project.
Inspiration comes in many forms. The most obvious sources are other chefs, restaurateurs, and successful operations we admire. However, inspiration also springs from less conventional sources. We draw ideas from regions we've visited, our travels, various types of cuisine, specific themes, our dedicated team members, and even our guests and their feedback. For instance, Pesto Bistro and Wine Bar's current menu is much different than initially planned. This shift occurred because I was inspired by the previous owners and how well their menu resonated with the local community.
When it comes to the menu, I let the ingredients guide my creativity. Guests often ask me what my favorite dish is, and my answer is always the same: "It's difficult to choose because I love every item on the menu; they wouldn't be there if I didn't." Selecting a favorite wine, on the other hand, is somewhat easier for me. Wine, like art, is highly subjective. We tasted every wine on our list, sampling several options for each selection, ensuring that each one had a unique story and stood out. Our wine list is curated to offer special finds that you won't come across in typical grocery stores or wine shops.

One final thought: inspiration should not be confused with influence. When an influence carries an emotional tie and ignites a creative spark, it transforms into inspiration. In my journey as a chef and restaurant owner, it's this inspiration that continually drives us to innovate and excel in providing an unforgettable dining experience.

Joe Rimer, Chef/ Owner

Alumni- Culinary Institute of America 

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Wednesday, 19 June 2024