How Startups Are Using A Sense Of Community To Entice Renowned Chefs

How Startups Are Using A Sense Of Community To Entice Renowned Chefs
Arts & Culture

Chefs Phil Sireci and Shanna Sobel get to exercise their culinary creativity during meal times at Stack Exchange.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 4 march 2014

What would make two successful chefs leave their gigs at popular restaurants to work for a tech startup? For renowned chefs Phil Sireci and Shanna Sobel, it was the sense of community within the company and the freedom to be continuously creative with their dishes.

Sireci and Sobel used to work at New York hot spots such as Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, and Colicchio & Sons, but left their high-pressure fast-paced restaurant jobs to be the chefs at Stack Exchange, a startup that hosts a network of Q&A sites.

In an article on Business Insider, Sireci admitted that at the time the job at Stack Exchange came up, he was getting tired of the restaurant world and its grueling hours. However, he was also hesitant about working at a tech startup since he has always worked in restaurants. Then he saw the set-up and the environment at Stack Exchange and noticed the sense of community within the company, especially during lunch hour. As Sireci put it,

As a chef, what I want to do is cook my food and see people enjoy it. This is a much closer connection to that than the restaurant ever was. I get to watch them, and I know all of their names. I almost know all of their little quirks and what they like and what their allergies are. It’s almost like cooking for my family every day, like a family of 100.

Sireci approached pastry chef Sobel to work with him at Stack Exchange. Sobel was also reportedly getting tired of restaurants at that time. The two joined Stack Exchange in September last year.

Months later, the executive chef and the assistant chef have worked out a regular process. Sireci plans the lunch menu and Sobel decides what desserts to serve and helps out in preparing lunch. What both look forward to is their chance to experiment and exercise their creativity. Sireci gets to work on his special for the day, while Sobel gets to try new desserts. The two chefs also create special meals for people’s birthdays and company events and parties. Aside from getting to cook dishes of their dreams, the two chefs also have an easier work schedule and have more time to do other things like volunteer at charitable organizations.

The chefs have a Twitter account named @StackChefs.

Stack Exchange

Source: Business Insider

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