We sat down with local restaurateur Adrian Ramirez, Chef and Owner of the Red Cork Bistro, Lunch Bistro, and Taqueria Puebla to discover his background, cooking tips, and more.
DM: How did you get started in the restaurant business?
AR: I got started in the restaurant business when I was 16 1/2 years old. It was the summer between my junior and senior year at Kamiak. The job was dishwashing.
DM: Who or what inspired you to take this path?
AR: Necessity and opportunity were the inspiration to my culinary career. I knew that I was barely going to graduate high school and that I would certainly not go to college. I also knew that I didn’t want to be homeless and that I needed to dedicate myself to something. The opportunity that I got at the golf course (Harbour Pointe Golf Course) was that something.
DM: What is your favorite food to make?
AR: A nice flame-grilled steak is my favorite thing to cook. More specifically, a New York or T-bone. The flame, the sizzle, the smell, it all keeps you on your toes. It is very fun cooking steaks. The keys to cooking a perfect steak are 1. Making sure the steak is as close to room temperature as possible before putting it on the grill. 2. Season with salt and pepper only. Don’t be shy either season well. 4. Letting the steak rest after cooking 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the steak.
DM: What is your favorite food to eat?
AR: I absolutely love eating hamburgers. In-N-Out makes my favorite hamburger. Double, Double with onion!!
DM: What inspires your ideas for recipes?
AR: Feedback from our guests really helps to create some of the dishes we have on our menu.
DM: If you could have dinner with someone (alive or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?
AR: I would have to say my grandmother Rose. She was an excellent cook. I wish I would have known when I was younger that I was going to become a chef. I would have picked her brain on all kinds of recipes.
DM: Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of and why?
AR: I am most proud of being in business for five years. Being a small business owner/entrepreneur is very tough, and I tip my hat to everyone who owns their own business.
DM: What was the thing that surprises most people about you?
AR: Deciding to sell my home to purchase a restaurant was surprisingly easy. I think it was because I was chasing my dreams. It was still terrifying but easier than I anticipated.
DM: What was the biggest challenge you face as a restauranteur?
AR: Consistency is the biggest challenge a restauranteur faces, in my opinion. If your food, service, cleanliness is not consistent, then your guests can’t anticipate what experience they’ll have at your restaurant. I’ve found that when your guests can rely on your foodservice and cleanliness, they will visit you more often.
DM: Is there anything else you would like to share with me?
AR: I would like to share that this community has been so good to us and that I am proud that I own a business in Mukilteo. My team and I are forever grateful for this community.
DM: Is there any question I should have asked you but did not?
AR: You should have asked me what my favorite style of cooking is.
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