Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Takeaway




Surprisingly, perhaps, I am a regular viewer of several series on the Food and Cooking Channels. My favorite of these is "Chopped" and I loved last night's episode in which the 4 contestants were lunch ladies! I've watched enough cooking shows* to know that 35-year-old chef Nell Benton (3rd image) must be thrilled to the core to be the new owner of the established and successful Milwaukee restaurant National Cafe and Takeaway (1st and 2nd images) - and for only $100! Five years Benton's senior, Michael Diedrick (5th image) has owned the National Cafe for 3 years. “Opening the cafe was really more of a neighborhood improvement project than an investment into the idea of making more money. The whole purpose was to get in, invest time and money, and then find the right owner and get out,” he explains. The right owner would continue his commitment to sustainability - including composting - and locally grown, organic food. Diedrick launched a search for a new owner of the socially conscious cafe, entertaining 24 offers and interviewing a dozen of the applicants. And her found her. “She was absolutely the best choice across the board. She really kind of brought all the pieces together.” Benton, former executive chef at Thirst & Vine in Shorewood, Wisconsin, has agreed to keep the restaurant's name, theme, location, and menu for at least 2 years. With her background in baking and Thai cuisine, the restaurant will feature more pastries and desserts and will offer some international flavors. Benton also has plans to boost the catering service and to rent the space out for evening events by area non-profit groups. The $100 deal was clinched on condition that Diedrick and his wife get to eat there once a day for a year, which he says will allow Benton access to their advice about running a restaurant that may plague a new owner. This arrangement also serves their purposes - since they operate a website design studio just a few doors down.

*I also watch "Restaurant Impossible," "Foodography," and now "Chef Hunter."

1 comment:

  1. The $100 deal was clinched on condition that Diedrick and his wife get to eat there once a day for a year, which he says will allow Benton access to their advice about running a restaurant that may plague a new owner. www.takeaway4less.co.uk

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