We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Olsefsky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit and have consistently portrayed a great sense of ownership with any job that I’ve held. I would have never expected to be starting my own business so abruptly, but with the pandemic raging and my savings dwindling fast, it seemed the most obvious move was to take what money I did have left and take a chance on myself.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career in the restaurant industry started when I was still in high school. There was serving, delivery driving, hosting & fry cooking. A few years down the road, after graduating from culinary school, I was working full time as a line cook. Within a few years I moved up to Sous, sharpening my skills as leader even further. Seeing my strengths in this new position, my boss at the time, eventually brought me into a bigger project. I started running multiple kitchens for a restaurant group as an Executive chef. Two very popular side by side restaurants on the Sunset Strip became my home for the next 6 years. One of these restaurants grew to the point of my traveling to different states to open up multiple locations. Living in hotels, working round the clock, flying out on a moments notice all the while still running the restaurants back in LA tested every part of me. When I knew I learned all I could from these places I took a step back to really focus on what I wanted my future to be. I realized how much I enjoyed the other part of being a chef, the part that a lot of people fall short of. The numbers, the paper work, the analytics of it all is where I thrive most. Seeing my behind the scenes work on paper come to life through my team in the kitchen, truly made my need for entrepeneurship burst.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being an LA native and self-certified East Sider, I would probably spend a good portion of the trip visiting my regular neighborhood spots in Echo Park. We would most likely be spending way too much time with Nick over at El Prado sampling his array of natural wines followed by a few trips to some taco trucks. I am also a bit of an outdoor enthusiast, part of what keeps me drawn to Los Angeles, so a trip to the local mountains would be in order, whether it’s for an afternoon hike or a day spent rock climbing. Perhaps a quick introduction first to climbing at The Stronghold Climbing Gym would be in order, followed by a pint or two at Barbara’s at the Brewery. Maybe squeeze a surf in at El Porto (or humbling surf lesson) and follow that up with some beer’s at Common Space. Repeat this a jaunt a few more times, while avoiding all the tourist traps of the city, and I’d say it’s just about the best time one can have in Los Angeles, through a native perspective.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shout out to my loving and supportive girlfriend, Shanna, who has pushed me to jumpstart all my business ideas, no matter how seemingly irrational or half baked. I’d also like to shoutout to my parents, Mark & Susan, for supporting my ever changing interests as a kid, maybe knowing eventually something would stick. And lastly I’d like to shout out to all the hard working restaurant workers who have been put out of work, and especially those I have personally worked with (cooks, dishwashers, busser, servers, etc). We’ll get through this moment and we will come out stronger on the other side.
Bart Mastronardi (bartmastronardiphotography.com)