We first met in 2005 while working on the line at Thomas Keller's restaurant Per Se in Manhattan.
We had both been through some of Manhattan's best restaurants at the time (Blue Hill, Daniel, Cafe Boulud) and were humbled to be accepted into such an incredible kitchen. It was not love at first sight for us, as we vied for the same position as Saucier's and sabotaged each other whenever possible (maybe that IS love at first sight!). It didn't take long for our competitive sides to cease, slightly, and in 2006 we began dating. If anyone knows what it's like to work beside your partner in a kitchen, for 14+ hours a day...it does make for a lasting relationship. With a strong foundation both in cooking and love, we married in 2008. For those of you who don't know our story, you can check it out HERE, or read our full bio. Our vision for Maison Privé Chefs came on quickly and excitedly and we officially launched in the winter of 2008. We could only imagine what it would be like to have our own commercial kitchen, never mind our own business.
It took us years of very long days and hard work to be able to save enough money to make a dent in even thinking about having our own kitchen. The work paid off and in August 2012, we were able to find a great space with good bones in Greenwich CT, but it needed to be gutted completely.
We scratched our heads but felt that this would be the right place once we put some heart and soul into it. We got to work tearing down walls and ripping up floors. Much to our amazement we uncovered a 12-foot mirror with porcelain covered tin moldings that was the original mirror of the Butcher Shop that inhabited this space in 1940. This was especially exciting for Jim, as his ancestors were all skilled Butchers in Savoca, Sicily. Nooks and crannies were opened and led to even more starry eyed delights of historical beauty. This became home.
In time we realized that we had nothing left to complete the "Tasting Room" or the front of the building, which badly needs a sign to display who we are, and planter boxes to add some aesthetic appeal. With all of our funds depleted, we have been working in a nameless space.
If we meet our goal of $10,500 we'll have a sign up, a new front door, some outdoor and indoor lighting by the Spring. If we make it to $15,000 we can finish the floor and add in the aesthetic touches and decor to complete the Tasting Room. $25,000 would help us with all of the above plus a much needed Split-Pack heater/air-conditioning unit to keep guests comfortable. We're very much looking forward to hosting a Private Supper Club as well as Tastings and can't do it without your help and support.
Risks and challenges
Every project has its obstacles, but we have done our homework over the past few months to find qualified, local folks who can help us complete the work. A team of loyal, talented folks is part of the ingredient list that goes into making the dream a reality.
We wouldn't be where we are if it weren't for the tremendous support from our family, clients and friends. Some clients who have become friends, some family who have become clients. We have missed countless birthdays, anniversaries and other holidays due to the nature of our business and ferocious work ethic--we thank you all from our hearts for always standing not only behind us, but beside us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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