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In Louisiana, Love for a Chinese Restaurant and Its Magnetic Owner

“I love Champagne,” Mr. Lim said before the meal, “and also pinot noir and Bordeaux and all of it.”Mr. Lim remains engaged with his restaurant’s wine service, from a distance. Customers text him for wine-pairing advice “all the time,” he said. In January, he wrote a mission statement for his staff, detailing the wines he wanted to emphasize with diners in 2020, including wine from the Jura region of France, German riesling and cru Beaujolais, all of which he believes offer good value and complement Lucky Palace’s food.Joe Davis, the winemaker at Arcadian Winery in Santa Barbara County, Calif., said Mr. Lim’s unbridled enthusiasm is unique. “Lim is generous to a fault. He’ll open up anything for you to try,” he said. “He’s going to convince you one way or another to love wine as much as ...

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Business

Niven Patel, a Miami Chef, Is Not Giving Up on 2020

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The last week in July was an especially stressful one for Niven Patel, and for Floridians in general.It began with Mr. Patel’s decision to permanently close one of two locations of Ghee Indian Kitchen, the Miami-area restaurant that brought the chef national acclaim. The week ended with South Florida bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Isaias, just as the state recorded its fourth straight day of record reported deaths from Covid-19.In the midst of all of this — while still adjusting to having become a father to twin daughters in June — Mr. Patel was busy with final preparations for the opening of a new restaurant called Mamey. Doing so in a pandemic, he conceded, is “pretty insane.”Mr. Patel, 36, is one of Miami’s best-known and promising young chefs — in May, Foo...

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Business

Two Chefs Moved to Rural Minnesota to Expand on Their Mission of Racial Justice

ST. JOSEPH, Minn. — Krewe, a restaurant in this small central-Minnesota city, is a tribute to Mary Mackbee, a former high school principal who raised four children in a Twin Cities suburb on the cooking of her native New Orleans.“More than anything, gumbo is the smell I remember,” said Mateo Mackbee, one of those children and the chef and co-owner of Krewe. “That’s one you would get outside the front door.”Mr. Mackbee was in the dining room of Krewe, a window-lined restaurant in a new low-rise building in downtown St. Joseph, a community of 7,000 about 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis. His mother was there, too, sharing stories about her life and overseeing the jambalaya that Mr. Mackbee’s 21-year-old son, Makel, was cooking for takeout service later that day.Krewe’s sign reads “est. 1...

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