Culture’s Place in the Modern Restaurant Landscape

From new technologies and changing food trends to supply chains and innovative concepts, the restaurant industry is everchanging. Host Andre Natera shares kitchens, plates and stories with food and beverage superstars, preparing a new dish and offering valuable insights from the front lines of the culinary industry.

 

Run the Pass is always excited to present the stories of chefs and restaurant pioneers. Host Andre Natera spoke with two chefs in this episode, Rico Torres and Diego Galicia, two of San Antonio’s brightest voices. Together, they own Mixtli and Kumo. They shared details on their restaurants and what they’re doing to reimagine restaurant culture.

Torres talked about Kumo’s unique concept, which changes the menu daily. “It’s about being creative with the menu and doing something new. What else can I do with these products, so there’s nothing wasted.”

They named it such because it means cloud in Japan. Japanese culture has an impact on the eatery, more for the style of dining. Not a coincidence is their other spot, Mixtli, which also means cloud. So why the clouds?

“Clouds travel, so the menu can travel. Cloud became our spirit,” Torres shared. The idea of clouds is what drives menu ideation. They are focused on creating dishes rooted in stories of Mexican history.

Mixtli started in a train car, selling pre-paid tickets for dining. Now, they are reopening it in a larger space during the pandemic. Galicia noted, “It’s a huge gamble that forced us to keep pushing. We’re all in.”

What’s important to both chefs as they continue to build their empire is changing the restaurant culture. They want to bring education to their team on finances, health, and wellness.

Torres called the new mindset “embracing the chaos.” He explained, “When you face a problem, emotions take the wheel and force old conditioning. Instead, find the root of the problem and find a new route to the solution.”

He’s also a big proponent of being in tune with what you put in your body and the inner dialogue.

Galicia discussed providing financial literacy education to staff. “It’s hard to stay afloat in the industry. Conversations about finances need to happen.”

Bringing health and wellness into the conversation matters because neither wants to see people burnout. Galicia shared he heard something recently that stuck with him about the culture he and Torres are building. “You can’t be of service to others if you’re not fit for service. We want to set people up for success.”

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