joe shymanski

Telling Moments

When everyone stops to listen, when excellence and innovation are recognized, when leaders take time to talk with FSR—these are the best rewards.

Noise reigned: Between the kitchen and bar, roughly a dozen people were busily prepping for the night’s service at Washington’s acclaimed minibar.

We were seated in barmini, Chef José Andrés and I, beside a door that opened into the kitchen of the adjoining minibar. Talking with one of the most revered chefs in the world, I was understandably caught up in the moment. So much so, I didn’t realize until I listened to the recorded interview just how mesmerizing the conversation had been.

All that ambient noise of hustle and bustle as the restaurant prepared to open? Well, all that noise disappeared as the interview progressed.

And then there was silence—save for the soft-spoken chef and my occasional question. No one slowed what they were doing, but everyone worked more quietly—and I’m sure it was because, like me, they wanted to lean in and hear all that Chef Andrés had to say.

There was one telling moment during the interview, when I realized everyone else was tuned in. It was when I asked Chef Andrés if he would ever run for political office, and the silent room instantly reverberated with shouts of “Do It!” (Not to be a tease, but you’ll have to check out the story to know what he said.)

The entire interview was fascinating, and for me, the most captivating aspect was how Chef Andrés balanced the insights of building and growing a $120 million restaurant empire with his passions for helping to feed the hungry and inspire chefs to change the world.

That is precisely the kind of editorial we want to serve our readers: practical advice for restaurant operations, flavored with wisdom, wit, and aspirational objectives that will help raise expectations and standards throughout our industry. To that end, FSR—along with our sister publication QSR—will host the HALO awards to recognize restaurants that have transformed all the talk about healthy, active lifestyles into positive, actionable practices. Stay tuned as details about this important initiative unfold throughout 2014.

And while 2013 was an outstanding year for us—FSR was the recipient of prestigious awards from Folio: for excellence in magazine publishing, winning both Best New Design and, for editorial, Best Full Issue—we enter the New Year resolved to do an even better job for our readers.



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