New Jersey Restaurant Life w/ Steve Colombero (WBDP 27)

Steve Colombero is a restaurant manager at the award-winning Mistral restaurant and Elements restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey.

Today’s Podcast gives us a deep dive into life at both restaurants. We talk about the adjustments that have been made during the Covid-19 Pandemic along with aspects of food culture and Steve’s experience and lessons from restaurant life (this podcast was recorded in late October so the COVID-19 situation has evolved since then)

Find Steve at


00:00 – Intro

01:35 – How did you get into the food industry/ hospitality  (awesome video by Chris Bellizzi @chris.bellizzi on Instagram

03:00 – can you talk about the changes that happened during early COVID-19 in the US

05:00 – what did you have to do to keep patrons separate from each other?

07:29 – What is the setup for the cold winter months?

08:19 –“no-BS” quotes about life during COVID-19 from Chefs

10:47 – fundraising for restaurant teams during COVID-19

12:01 – Do you see any COVID-19 changes staying around after the world has dealt with the pandemic?

 13:07 – Do you find that a lot of customers are following the safety rules at this point in time?

14:00 – Let’s talk about your positive attitude and awesome people skills… does it come natural or was it something you built up over the years?

15:51—Social media for chefs and restaurants  

17:15 – Anthony Bourdain: how did he influence the way you view, food, culture and hospitality?

18:25 – Do you have any modern day chefs that you admire and would like to shout out?  

20:27 – Is there anything happening within restaurants or the hospitality industry  that you think people should pay more attention to?

21:55—Can you describe a favorite meal of yours that you’ve had recently?

24:10 – Name an unexpected place that working the restaurant business has taken you to    

27:20 – What’s the process like for developing a new dish at either one of the restaurants that you work at? Do you get to be the guinea pig?    

Brain Teasers

29:24 —  Hypothetical situation: you run a small restaurant and you have to staff it with characters from movies or popular fiction. Pick a chef, line cook, bar tender and a server

31:27 – What is an unusual habit that you have or a strange thing that you love?

34:09 – what is something that you learned from restaurant work that you use in other areas of life?

35:11 – How do you stay so positive?

35:41 – Could you share a negative review that made you laugh or stuck with you?

36:41 – where can people go to try the food?  And support their local restaurant scene 

37:59 – how have you had to adjust doing the WoBistDude thing during this time?

38:46 – what’s the current state of things for restaurants in Munich, Germany 

40:04– for people who want to find Mistral and elements where can they find it?    

“Growing up right next to the restaurant Mecca in NJ I was always intrigued with food and wine. We were always taught at a young age to do what you love. I love to eat and I love to drink, who doesn’t? With a day off here and there, I still find myself at restaurant eating, drinking and always learning. I’m an avid fan of the shore especially Asbury Park and cape May and always find my self 3 putting on a golf course.” — Steve Colombaro

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