We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Serfer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
I know its cliche to talk about how important a strong team is, but its cliche because it is the truth. Cooking and running a restaurant, large or small requires a group of dedicated people working together as one unit. When I opened my first restaurant, Blue Collar, I came from large places, and despite that, was in love with the small size of Blue because I thought, worst case scenario, I could do everything myself if I needed to. Well as the business grew, and became more of a success, I realized early on how flawed that was. In fact, in the early days, every time I made a new hire, even if we could not afford it, it paid off handsomely. Even though the small space would have allowed me to be the cook, manager, server, busser, etc, had I chose to do them all myself, each of those jobs would not have been done as well as it could have been. So, once I hired the right team, I was able to focus on being the chef and running the business. That was the right decision as here we are 9 plus years later.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Craftsman. Business owner. Chef
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Macchialina- Chef Pirolo is the pasta master. The food and service at his place are second to none. Ariete- Chef Beltran makes me want to be a better cook and chef. He is always adding new stuff to his menu that I would have never thought of. Babe’s meat counter in South Miami. Jason and Melanie really are the sausage king and queen of miami. Greynolds Park: I have been going there my whole life and it always has new stuff for whatever age or stage at im in life. As a young boy, they have a playground, as a teenager they have fields for sports and nooks to hide out and smoke pot. As a nature lover they have nice trails that can provide serenity ( decent little golf course and driving range too). As a father I can start the whole cycle again with my family watching them grow up at the park ( hopefully not the skiping school and smoking pot part though)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Blue Collar and Mignonette have executive chefs. Roan Brown at Blue, and Bobby Frank at Mignonette. Without them I am nothing. Also my business partner Ryan Roman, his honesty and point of view are invaluable for pushing me to have the restaurants constantly be better.