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Episode Info: Famous chefs don’t become known because of their humility. But as it turns out, their restaurants might. In this episode of the podcast, I spoke with renowned chef Peter Merriman about his unique approach to hospitality in his restaurants. Why is it that a person always feels welcome when they check-in with his hosts? How does Peter motivate his entire staff to entertain like they are “throwing a party every night,” prepare each and every dish like they are “cooking for their mom,” and consistently go above and beyond to “do the right thing” for every customer they meet? In this episode, we discuss: Why service matters as much (if not more) than the food What are his “vital few” that he focuses on with staff? The key importance of establishing and maintaining relationships How Peter hires right, then gives his people a chance to shine What it means to focus on the “internal customers” How those who are served can get the most out of our experience as customers The importance of sustainability, and connecting with the source of our food How customer demand impacts quality The importance of humility to the success of any restaurant Thanks for listening! As always, I appreciate your feedback, and please consider supporting this ad-free podcast by becoming a supporter on Patreon Links and More Info: PETER’S STORY: Peter Merriman has been as a culinary pioneer in Hawaii for 30 years. Known as the original “locavore”, Peter is a vocal champion of Hawaii’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen. His restaurants showcase island grown and harvested foods through simple preparations that reflect the myriad flavors of Hawaii’s multiculturalism. Dubbed the “Pied Piper of Hawaii Regional Cuisine” by The Los Angeles Times, he is a continuing inspiration to Hawaii’s thriving culinary scene.  Early Years  Peter was raised in Pittsburgh, where a passion for food was instilled in him from a young age. His mother, Woodene, was a noted Pittsburgh Post Gazette food writer, and by the time he was 16, he was doing “grunt work” for Master Chef Ferdinand Metz at the H. J. Heinz Co. (Chef Metz later headed the renowned Culinary Institute of America.)  Pursuing the opportunity to play football, Peter attended The University of Pennsylvania and studied Political Science. After graduation, Merriman enrolled in a three-year Chef's Apprentice Program with RockResorts under the auspices of the American Culinary Federation. The apprenticeship program took Peter to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and to Woodstock, Vermont, where he studied at the Woodstock Inn, under the supervision of Chef Hans Schadler. He then went on to various stints in resort areas across the United States and Europe, including a summer working among the vineyards of France’s Champagne region.  In early 1983, Peter was hired as a cook for the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. He arrived in Hawaii with o...
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