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The next generation of culinary artisans are changing up the industry. These artisans have a whole new approach to reaching and satisfying the next generation consumer. In this podcast we will explore chefs and artisans from around the world diving into their story and passion.

In this episode of Chef AF, I chat with Mohamed “Mo” Alkassar, founding partner of Alpareno Restaurant Group about his extensive background in hospitality, his partnership with three-time James Beard award nominee, Chef Niven Patel, and the importance of mentorship.

Alkassar, while in Madrid waiting for his visa to go to the United States, stumbled on the hospitality industry working in fine dining at Maison Blanche. He further developed his skills by working for some of the most well-recognized hospitality groups in the Middle East. Alkassar met his mentor during this time, Michael Bonadies, partner, Myriad Restaurant Group. The group that created Nobu and many other iconic restaurants.

Alkassar moved to Miami and took a step back in his career to get experience in American style service before joining NRI, Nolan Reynolds International as chief operating officer. In addition to being the COO of NRI, Alkassar partnered with Chef Niven Patel, Charles Nolan and Brent Reynolds to form Alpareno Restaurant Group. Alpareno’s culinary portfolio of chef-driven restaurants include Patel’s Ghee Indian Kitchen, Mamey and Orno. Alkassar says, “Chef Niven is the embodiment of farm to table because he lives on this farm, it is his home in South Florida in Homestead, which he refers to as Rancho Patel, is actually his farm so he pretty much lives the food and beverage cycle right. He wakes up in the morning, he goes up on the farm, he picks the produce himself, he comes in every morning to all our restaurants with boxes.”

I asked Alkassar about his philosophy that food has the power to bring people together. He talks about opening Mamey during the pandemic and being able to be there for the community and their staff, connecting everyone through food.

Having a mentor or being a mentor in hospitality is common. Alkassar says, “we say we want to enhance the lives of all our stakeholders equally and put as much effort into doing so and you can only do so if you really mentor your team. I learned that I think I've always had it inherently since I was a kid, really to take care of people, mentor people and teach them what I know.”

To hear more about creating dishes with fresh ingredients including grilled okra, and how Alkassar’s team worked through the challenges during the pandemic, check out this episode of Chef AF “It’s All Food” or you can listen at Spotify!
The next generation of culinary artisans are changing up the industry. These artisans have a whole new approach to reaching and satisfying the next generation consumer. In this podcast we will explore chefs and artisans from around the world diving into their story and passion. In this episode of Chef AF, I chat with Mohamed “Mo” Alkassar, founding partner of Alpareno Restaurant Group about his extensive background in hospitality, his partnership with three-time James Beard award nominee, Chef Niven Patel, and the importance of mentorship. Alkassar, while in Madrid waiting for his visa to go to the United States, stumbled on the hospitality industry working in fine dining at Maison Blanche. He further developed his skills by working for some of the most well-recognized hospitality groups in the Middle East. Alkassar met his mentor during this time, Michael Bonadies, partner, Myriad Restaurant Group. The group that created Nobu and many other iconic restaurants. Alkassar moved to Miami and took a step back in his career to get experience in American style service before joining NRI, Nolan Reynolds International as chief operating officer. In addition to being the COO of NRI, Alkassar partnered with Chef Niven Patel, Charles Nolan and Brent Reynolds to form Alpareno Restaurant Group. Alpareno’s culinary portfolio of chef-driven restaurants include Patel’s Ghee Indian Kitchen, Mamey and Orno. Alkassar says, “Chef Niven is the embodiment of farm to table because he lives on this farm, it is his home in South Florida in Homestead, which he refers to as Rancho Patel, is actually his farm so he pretty much lives the food and beverage cycle right. He wakes up in the morning, he goes up on the farm, he picks the produce himself, he comes in every morning to all our restaurants with boxes.” I asked Alkassar about his philosophy that food has the power to bring people together. He talks about opening Mamey during the pandemic and being able to be there for the community and their staff, connecting everyone through food. Having a mentor or being a mentor in hospitality is common. Alkassar says, “we say we want to enhance the lives of all our stakeholders equally and put as much effort into doing so and you can only do so if you really mentor your team. I learned that I think I've always had it inherently since I was a kid, really to take care of people, mentor people and teach them what I know.” To hear more about creating dishes with fresh ingredients including grilled okra, and how Alkassar’s team worked through the challenges during the pandemic, check out this episode of Chef AF “It’s All Food” or you can listen at Spotify! read more read less

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