We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Montgomery and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
To strive and always get better.
In this industry you are only as good as your last meal. So you have to strive for perfection every single day, every order etc. We are never safe is my model/belief.
What should our readers know about your business?
I studied culinary arts at the art institute of New York City with the notion to open up a casual dining restaurant with my brother. As I started to train, I fell in love with the culinary world, from a fine dining standpoint. The thought of opening a restaurant with my brother halted so to speak. He actually opened his restaurant, but I still trained and worked inside of some of NYC’s notable restaurants with some of New York’s top Chefs of the time. I fell in love with one particular chef and traveled with him over eight years revamping various restaurants. We landed the gig at Tamarack Country Club to restructure their culinary program. I worked there with him for four years and this is where I found myself as a Chef. Was it easy? Not at all. I always found myself in prestigious kitchens as the only black Chef in the kitchen. I always had to work hard to prove myself, every shift, every meal, every plate, every step…at least that’s how I felt. Always striving to be better than the person next to me…that was my logic. I read a lot of books, just paid attention, worked hard, head down, knife to the cutting board, I respected the craft!
The lessons I’ve learned along the way was never to give up, no balls, no glory. Meaning, always try to push to be better, stay focused and consistent. Continuing to believe in myself, believing in yeah the craft. I want the world to know that I’m trying my best to serve some great great food…for the soul, and leave a lasting impression on every diner I am able to feed.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First I would bring them to my restaurant so that they can celebrate the victory of opening my own spot during a pandemic.
Then I would take them to Fia restaurant where one of my buddies is the Sous chef for a nice Italian meal.
We would go for drinks at Five on the Hill for the awesome scenery and chill vibe.
The next day, we would go to the Farmers Market in Santa Monica, pick up a few unique produce items and bread. We’ll then go to Eataly, pick up a few dry aged steaks to go with our seasonal produce.
Head to SideCar donuts to pick up a few donuts and coffee.
We’ll go Total Wines in Woodland Hills, speak with Daniel, the wine expert, to get some wine to pair with our steaks
Head to my restaurant and prepare our steaks( on our closed day of course) and catch up on what’s happening on the East Coast.
Throughout the week, we will experience a bon fire on the beach, Universal, Magic Mountain, Disney Land, a few Mexican Restaurants and end the trip with a nice dinner at Nobu in Malibu!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Ms. Jajmi Robinson-My life partner
Mr. Elliot Priester-My Brother/Father Figure
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