From bring around their family restaurants to simply being chefs in other restaurants, these owners (that are all under 40) have taken their passions into reality by bringing innovation to all of their dishes. These restaurant owners have demonstrated a more creative, innovating, and adventurous side to their traditional cuisines that they have already mastered. Meet these 6 restaurant owners that are setting the stage for the future of the restaurant industry and learn from their strategies that have helped them succeed in running a smooth business!
Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson
To begin this list, we have Sara Kramer, 32, and Sarah Hymanson, 31, who are the chef-owners of two restaurants that quickly gained popularity in Los Angeles. Kramer and Hymanson opened Madcapra and Kismet which is located in LA’s historic Grand Central Market and also new Hollywood-Sunset Boulevard. Both Kramer and Hymanson arrived from New York and fell in love with the welcoming factor that LA has for new ideas. Upon arriving in LA, they were approached by Grand Central Market about opening their falafel shop there and now you can find long lines forming outside of the traditional Middle Eastern sandwich shop. They were also quickly approached by business partners John Shook and Vinny Dotolo to host a pop-up dinner at their highly acclaimed Fairfax restaurant which led to them opening Kismet in January 2017. Kramer and Hymanson both learned the certain level of involvement that they must maintain while having two restaurants open. Hymanson can often be seen in the open kitchen while Kramer can be seen greeting guests.
Next, we have Tyler Gugliotta who began his foodservice career as a chef before opening his very own restaurant in Hermosa Beach called Baran’s 2239. Gugliotta first entered the food industry when he became a chef at Fleming’s Steakhouse while attending college and moving from restaurant to restaurant holding executive chef roles at establishments like Brix and The Tasting Kitchen. Mentorship was a key role in Gugliotta’s approach to being a chef and restaurant owner. He was quoted saying that,” if he can teach someone to do something and they become better at it than he is, then he considers that the ultimate success.”
Ming Pu is the co-owner of 502 Bar & Bistro which is located in Kentucky, but before opening his very first restaurant at the age of 27, Pu held many restaurant positions in Louisville, including Volare, the Brown Hotel and Windsor Restaurant & Garden. Pu takes modern and classic techniques and applies them to different ingredients and dishes. Ming has attributed most of his success to his mentor, Chef Peng S. Looi because he taught Pu about the industry and how to run an efficient kitchen.
Moreover, we have Justin Lavenue who is the co-owner and operator at The Roosevelt Room in Austin, TX. Justin found his calling when he began bartending in college and realized that he loved the craft. Lavenue then opened his first two establishments, The Roosevelt Room and The Eleanor, by age 26. In 2015, Lavenue was named North America’s Most Imaginative Bartender as well as Bartender of the Year by Eater, Food, & Wine’s Best New Mixologist. His creativity has been the concept that has helped him succeed in the industry as he continues opening unique establishments with his business partner Dennis Gobis.
Amir is the prime example of a family following the American dream as he migrated from Iran when he was young and ended up opening his very own restaurant with his brother and uncle years later. Amir is the executive chef and owner of District Kitchen + Cocktails as well as Austin’s go-to restaurant called Oasthouse Kitchen + Cocktails. Hajimaleki’s restaurant has been known for stretching boundaries on his menus and incorporating Middle Eastern flavors among other elements like French and Japanese cuisines. Amir learned to study his clientele because his first set of customers ended up not being what they were looking for when it came to the actual food and pricing. They had to re-think the way they were doing things and revised the menu to figure out how to keep the quality while maintaining a competitive price.
Furthermore, we have Hari Cameron who is the owner and executive chef of A(MUSE.) Cameron has designed his restaurant to offer food that is rooted in culinary tradition and that also uses modern culinary techniques of today. They source the highest quality ingredients that come from the region, procure sustainable Atlantic seafood, work with people who raise their animals naturally and forage their local land so that the guests can enjoy a truly modern mid-Atlantic dining experience. Cameron’s cuisine is known for its dedication to local ingredients, artful design, and inventive recipes.
Lastly, we have Tracy Chang who is the chef and owner of PAGU which is located in Cambridge, MA. Chang’s future was destined ever since she was a child because she grew up around her grandmother’s Japanese restaurant, and while she was in college, she decided to work at the award-winning O Ya in Boston. As she was attaining real-world experience in the food industry, she continued her education in Paris as she studied the art of pastries and then moved on to Spain to cook at a three-star Michelin restaurant. Once she returned back to the United States, Chang decided to open a pop-up ramen place and then opened PAGU which features Japanese and Spanish inspired tapas. Chang has been working on mastering the ability to empower, trust, and delegate others. Although you most likely have the best teammates, it is important to empower others throughout the journey and trust everyone to offer the best service to the community.
We hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any plans of expanding your restaurants or retail stores, let us know! We’d love to be a part of your growth.