The People Behind Your Dining Experience- Gladys & Mark

Posted on February 22, 2012

 Meet Gladys and Mark, two of the many people behind your dining experience

Who are the people behind your dining experience?  How often do you get to know your server?  Everyone has their own idea of what the dining experience should and shouldn’t be.  There are those diners who want a talkative and vivacious server and others that prefer a more aloof server.  Some people consider medium rare as red center with a little blood while an others pink in the center.  Some guests look at the menu by reading the right side first, the prices.  Others read the descriptions and order according to what sounds good.  Some people come to the restaurant to find something wrong and others expect to be blown away.  It takes a special individual to meet the expectations of the general public.

The restaurant business is not for everybody.  It takes a special person to have the humility to serve others with a smile no matter how good or badly he/she is treated.  A restaurant worker needs to be able to multitask and make quick decisions on the spot.  A restaurant worker has a diverse personality and has the ability to change their personality according the moment.  They need to work under pressure and keep up an appearance of control.  Restaurant employees  have so much more going on than just their work.  Many have chosen this career path because it allows them the flexibility to pursue other interests.

I have been working in the restaurant business since I was 16 years old.  The most valuable part of this career choice has been the opportunity to meet so many interesting and REAL people.  My friendships with past co-workers will go on forever.  In this section I would like to present to you those hardworking individuals, the people behind your dining experience.  For many, the restaurant worker is a servant.   I want you to get to know them as people.  They lead interesting lives and have a lot more going on than one would think.  A restaurant worker will always have a good understanding of humanity, listen to what they have to say.

Here are two employees which will be part of the opening team at:

Vintana Cohn Restaurant

Vintana is scheduled to open May 1st, 2012

 

Where did you grow up? I was born in Matzalan, Mexico.  We would move back and forth between  San Diego and Matzalan.  When I was 15 years old I moved here permanently.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  I wanted to be a teacher.  Everyone in my family was in education and I really wanted to pursue teaching.

How long have you been working in the hospitality industry? 12 years; my first job was a hostess and a bus girl at Souplantation.

Do you have another job?  Yes; I also work as a server at Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Otay Ranch.

What are your hobbies?  I like to read and listen to music. On my time off I enjoy being with family and cooking.

Who is your greatest inspiration?  My Mom!  She is very nice, trustworthy and spiritual.  I would like to be just like her.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?  I see myself in a new restaurant, making more money and achieving all my goals, such as buying a house and raising a family.

What was your most memorable dining experience?  I had great food and very good service at Brockton Villa in La Jolla.

What is your favorite wine?  Pinot Noir. 

Beer? Pear Cider or Strawberry beer.

Cocktail? Margarita and a good Martini.

If you could teach your guests one thing, what would it be?  I would love to teach them how to experience the joy of putting food and wine together.

What do you love about your job?  Creating new dishes and getting fancy with my plating.

What do you hate about your job?  I hate it if things are not organized and if people are lazy.

If you could visit one place on the planet, where would it be?  I like art and food.  I would love to go to France and Italy.  They have such a rich culture and history.

(Gladys will be the new kitchen manager at Cohn Restaurant’s Vintana, opening May 2012)

 

 

 

Where did you grow up?  I was born in Vietnam and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; home of the Amish.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Although I didn’t know what it was, I wanted to be an architect.

How long have you been working in the hospitality industry?  For about 23 years; my family had their own restaurant. It only had 6 tables.  I was the bus boy, food runner, cashier, dishwasher, host and delivery boy.

Do you have another job?  I am a personal trainer and fitness instructor.

Mark is a big brother to a 9 year old boy, and was rewarded the “Big Brother of the Year Award” in 2011 for San Diego.

What are your hobbies?  Being with my dogs, staying healthy and fit, volunteering, going to the movies and learning about technology.  I love gadgets and seeing how things work.  I am very interested in working with technology and seeing how we use it to communicate with each other.

Who is your greatest inspiration?  Anyone that has the dedication to make a goal and the courage to accomplish it, no matter how big or small it may be.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?  I see myself as a kick-ass restaurant manager!

What was your most memorable dining experience?  An 11 course tasting menu at a roof top restaurant in Athens, Greece.

What is your favorite wine?  Chateau de la Gardine Chateauneuf-du-pape. 

If you could teach your guests one thing, what would it be?  To not be afraid of trying something new.

What do you love about your job?  The ability to make guests special events become magical memories.

What do you hate about your job?  That people have preconceived notions about food, wine and service.  I take on this challenge and meeting the guests perceptions is very rewarding.

If you could visit one place on the planet, where would it be? Brazil! I really want to go to Rio de Janeiro.

(Mark has just accepted a manager position at Cohn Restaurant’s Vintana, opening in May 2012.)

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Marina

    One thing is for sure…I will never anticipate any boring answers from the vivacious and high-energy Mark “Fever for the flavor (in the side station)” Robertson. Vintana is lucky to have you Mark. Need a Charlize-sitter?

  2. THOMAS FARMER

    MARK: Congraulations on your promotion; you will do an outstanding job. I look forward to visiting with you and the staff of Vintana in May. WELL DONE! V/R, Thomas W. Farmer

  3. Mark Robertson

    Maurice: thanks for the plug! We miss you, bud.

    Thomas: thank you so much, looking forward to seeing you up North, my friend.

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