Monday, November 23, 2009
Michael Flores > www.CookWithMichael.com
What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
To be an entrepreneur you must have a motivation and a desire to be different than the norm. You need a vision and an idea. Finally, dedication, love, and passion, those three will get you anyplace you want to go. I’m dedicated to nourish, I love family and friends, and I have a passion to create.
What did inspire you to start your business?
I started my own business simply because I did not have job security. My business cards read “chef” not “chef/owner.” I wanted to make sure that if one day I found myself without employment there was something to fall back on. I landed on my own gourmet foods.
How did you finance it?
I started my company by the generosity of my parents and a loan from on order of Catholic nuns!
Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
I think the biggest way my Mexican heritage has influenced my business, besides flavors and ingredients I use in my cooking, are the values and sense of life I carry within me. They come from growing up around the table and in the homes of my family where people are respected and life is celebrated every day.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The biggest challenges I find with having my own epicurean fare are the large companies with their foodstuff. They are bigger, they have more money, they have more power and influence……..how does one compete……..offer an inferior product in order to work the numbers?
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I am great at organizing except when it comes to my business, and I mean all areas! If I could change something about my business it would be to get better organized.
What was your childhood ambition?
As a child I wanted to own a restaurant. I envisioned myself greeting people at the door and cooking for them in the kitchen.
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
An entrepreneur not only creates but destroys and that’s not easy to do; I’m in awe of those who have. I can start listing those I admire but instead I’ll single one out, my father. He’s a genius when it comes to creating new and successful enterprises.
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
This may sound funny but I don’t schedule meetings at mealtimes. There are too many distractions…..large menus, the kind of water to drink, the litany of the daily specials, and then waiters wanting a decision as to what I’m going to eat (this is where everyone leans forward to listen…..what sounds good to Michael.) The meeting hasn’t begun and already I’m off to a terrible start. So I say business first and then we eat. This actually seems to speed up meetings. The back and fourths in the board room get shorter with the knowledge that a meal is next (and the anticipation only grows if I happen to be cooking).
What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
In order for me to make [Chef] Michael Flores a success I’ve had to sacrifice my personal relationships. That’s always been the hardest part for me.
What is your favorite quote?
One of my favorite quotes is “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow.” _Mary Anne Radmacher
Is it difficult to be unconventional?
For me being unconventional is not difficult at all. There’s an excitement in seeing and doing things in a different manner, breaking away from the norm is a fun challenge. The best thing about being unconventional is that no one sees you coming.
Biggest mistake made?
Not listening to my mother! I’d say that’s the biggest mistake I’ve made.
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Of course I do. The word innovator means so many things. I think an innovator is educated and very adventuresome, not just the creator of new ideas. He or she should be a trailblazer, a modernizer, a mastermind. Those words fit me to a tee when I’m in the kitchen or teaching a class; that’s me even when I’m in front of the cameras demonstrating a recipe to my television viewers.
About the Company.
My name is my company, my company is my name. Michael Flores is a chef, television personality, cookbook author, and owner of a specialty foods company dedicated to presenting unique and delicious gourmet products. I rely upon traditional methods of classical cuisine while incorporating ingredients from diverse cultures. In this multi-cultural diversity I explore the richness of flavors, aromas, and presentation, a culinary journey which reflects my appreciation of peoples and their lives mirrored in their foods.
My goal is to help everyone become the STAR of their own kitchen. I am a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
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