Do you frequent the same local eateries and see the same faces each time you go? This feature helps you get to know those faces a little better.
Owner and pastry chef, Pomona Bistro and Wine Bar
481 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota
"It's what I love to do. It gets me out of bed every morning without an alarm clock."
Q: What’s your background?
A: My grandfather was an immigrant and came to the U.S. as a whaler and settled on Cape Cod. I grew up on a piece of property that had five (of my relatives’) houses on it. My grandfather raised the vegetables for all five homes, and we had chickens and fresh eggs. Our backyard was a bay filled with shellfish. My parents were very social and they entertained a lot, so it felt natural for me to be in a restaurant — with food, friends and good times.
Q: What’s the first meal you prepared for someone?
A: I was probably 13 years old. It was a rice and vegetable dish called Jag for my little brother. It was rice, lima beans, onions and paprika. That year I also made him a Winnie the Pooh cake for his seventh birthday.
Q: What brought you here?
A: I moved to Sarasota in 1999, but I had wintered here for five years before that, working for Paul Mattison at Ophelia’s on the Bay.
Q: What was your experience before Pomona?
A: My restaurant partner and executive chef Ryan Boeve came to me and said “Let’s open a small restaurant and make it better than anything we’ve ever done.” That was our mission before the construction even started on Pomona. The first restaurant we opened was Zoria on Hillview in 1999.
Q: What is the best part about owning a restaurant?
A: Making the desserts and then seeing the smiles on the faces of our customers in the evening as they finish their meals.
Q: What is your favorite meal?
A: Steamed lobster — I’m a Cape Codder. Except for my birthday. On my birthday, I have a rack of lamb.
Q: Do you cook at home?
A: I do. I cook a whole bunch of healthy things on Sunday so I have food at home for snacking and when I'm on my break during the week. Vegetarian frittata and I do quinoa salad and vegetables. Sometimes I throw in a little pasta salad, some spinach and cheese tortellini.
Q: What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A: I can't live without my KitchenAid (mixer).
Q: What is on your gadget wish list?
A: A Pacojet — a mini ice cream machine.
Q: If you could have anyone eat in your restaurant, who would it be?
A: Maya Angelo. She reminds me of my mom and her eloquent writing was always an inspiration for my adolescent years.