Interview with Chef Dale Talde of Talde – New York, NY

April 2013

Dan Catinella: When did you begin your culinary career?
Dale Talde: I went to the Culinary Institute of America at 17 years old. It laid the foundation for me to be around really cool people and learn new things. I worked at the Four Seasons.

DC: What are the responsibilities between the three co-owners?
DT:I have three restaurants. I’m the chef and BOH manager for each location. My business partner John does the bar, and David does front of the house. It’s collaborative.

DC: How did you get your funding?
DT: It was grass roots. We asked everybody and anybody.

DC: Who are you mentors?
DT: Cary Naveen in Chicago; Jeff Rosenthal, another chef in Chicago; and my mother.

DC: What’s your secret to sucess?
DT: Collaboration. Talde is definitely chef-driven, but I like to think if you’re the chef in the restaurant, it’s a chef driven restaurant. The other owners do have a culinary background, so they understands things that other people may not.

DC: How do you inspire yet retain your employees?
DT: Treat people well and everyone has to have fun. If you're a cook these days, you need to look for a place you are comfortable in. I’m not saying you won’t work hard but you will enjoy it. And definitely about treating people with respect. When I was growing up it was definitely a tough environment.

DC: What are your top three tips for running successful restaurants?
DT: 1. Be nice. It’s a hospitality business. That has to include employees.
2. Surround yourself with a good team—it’s one of the only reasons we are at where we are.
3. Taste your food.

DC: What’s your five-year plan?
DT: I think the goal is to put out good food and to try and run stable businesses.