359: Learning from your mistakes with Jeffrey Lizotte

Raised in Simsbury, CT, Jeff Lizotte is a Cornell graduate whose culinary résumé includes experience at David Bouley’s Danube and Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin in New York City. During two years in France, he worked for Bordeaux’s La Tupina and the Michelin-starred La Bastide St. Antoine in Grasse. This past year Chef Jeff Lizotte was a semifinalist nomini for James Beard Best Chef Northeast for his work as the Executive Chef and Partner at Present Company, CT

In this episode we will discuss: It’s OK to make mistakes. Culinary theory. Competitive spirit in the kitchen. Starting very young in the restaurant industry. Getting started in the restaurant industry in the heart of NYC. Doing your best to keep your staff happy and stress-free. Learning the culinary arts in France. The importance of mentoring with the right people. Stamina in the kitchen.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

I make a lot of mistakes and that’s OK.

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Career Challenge or Failure

We decided to honor outstanding gift cards when we bought a pre-existing restaurant space.

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?


  2. What is your biggest weakness?


  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    Lead  by example

  4. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    Why do you want to work for our company?

  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    Building a clientele base

  6. What’s one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?

    Impact. Also, we offer an experience because of the open kitchen.

  7. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

    The Unprejudiced Palate: Classic Thoughts On Food And The Good Life by Angelo M. Pellegrini

    The Supper Of The Lamb: A Culinary Reflection by Robert Farrar Capon

  8. What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

    Toast POS. Quickbooks. A skilled cook’s intuition!

  9. With all the knowledge you have now if you could go back in time and give your past self one piece of business advice, What would it be and why?

    Slow down and think twice.

  10. What is one question you think should be added to this interview?

    What was the toughest job you ever had?

Contact Info

Instagram: @present_company_ct

Present Company CT website

Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Jeffrey Lizotte for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!