On today's show, I have Nicolas and Stephen Servis, identical twin brothers who founded Servis Events, a private dining service based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. You’ll learn how the brothers pivoted during the early days of the pandemic to start their business.
Nicolas and Stephen's passion for farm-to-table cuisine flourished during their time as chefs de partie at The Mainland Inn, where they tackled full animal butchery, gardening, and more. Later, while volunteering at Quarry Hill Farm, Stephen learned about the WWOOF program, a travel-for-work opportunity on organic farms. So, when the pandemic forced the brothers to leave their restaurant jobs in 2020, seeking inspiration, they moved to Maine for two months to work on Flying Pond Farm, where their vision for Servis Events began to take shape.
Today, Nicolas and Stephen share their story and passion for culinary arts and sustainability, combining their love of cooking with their dedication to being stewards of the planet.
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Have you ever worked with a sibling or family member? If so, how did it go? Now? Could you imagine starting a business with one? On today's show, I have Nicholas and Stephens service, identical twin brothers who founded service events, a private dining service based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He learned how the brothers pivoted during the early days of the pandemic to start their business. I think you're going to be inspired by their commitment to sustainable cooking. And if you're a personal chef, or hope to be one, I hope you'll pick up some practical advice on how to possibly grow your business. This is Chris spear. And you're listening to Chefs Without Restaurants, the show where I speak with culinary entrepreneurs and people working in the food and beverage industry outside of a traditional restaurant setting. So I've taken a few unplanned weeks off from the podcast, but it feels good to be back. Did you miss me? So the service brothers began their culinary journey at middle bucks Institute of Technology, where they both enrolled in the culinary arts program. They then went on to earn their associate's degrees in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Bucks County Community College before honing their craft in professional kitchens. Their passion for Farm to Table cuisine flourished during their time as chefs to party at the mainland Inn where they tackled everything from full animal Buttrey to gardening, and so much more. Later, while volunteering at Quarry Hill Farm, Stephen learned about the wolf program, I travel for work opportunity on organic farms. So when the pandemic forced the brothers to leave their restaurant jobs and 2020 seeking inspiration, they moved to Maine for two months to work on flying pond farm where their vision for service events began to take shape. Today, Nicholas and Stephen share their story and passion for culinary arts and sustainability, combining their love of cooking with their dedication to being stewards of the planet. And before we start the show, I just have a couple of quick words. As always, if you go to chefs without restaurants.org You can find links to all of our social media accounts, including our Instagram and our private Facebook group. If you'd like to subscribe to our newsletter, or add your info into our chef database for possible gig referrals, you can find those links as well. And this week's show will be right up after a word from this week's sponsor, the United States personal chef Association.USPCA AD:
Are you a personal chef looking for support and growth opportunities? Look no further than the United States Personal Chef Association with nearly 1000 members across the US and Canada,USPCA provides liability insurance, certification lead generation and more. Consumers can trust that their meal experience is ensured and supported by USP ca. And now for a limited time, save$75 on new membership and get your premier listing on Hire a Chef by using the code TaxBreak2023 at USPCA.com. Plus, if you have products or services to sell chefs and their clients showcase your business on hire chef and USPTA websites with our great introductory packages. To learn more about membership advertising or partnership opportunities, call Angela at 1-800-995-2138. Extension 705 or email email@example.comChris Spear:
Hey, guys, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for coming on. It's really good to have you here today. I think you know that I like to start the show by talking a little bit about backgrounds and such. So why don't you give me a little overview about how did we get here? How did you end up starting your own personal chef private dining business.Servis Events:
This kind of came from kind of out of the blue from some girl, when Nick was the head chef of this restaurant. It's called ardonagh. He opened that they started doing brunch service. And they had a lady who came in very frequently. And her and Nick knew each other on a on a kind of like first name basis. And she gave me one day and she asked the server to to ask him to make her daughter vegan pancakes. And Nick made before and walked out to her and she was so happy and so grateful for that she came back about a week later. And she kind of pulled him aside and said, Hey, Nick, do you guys do private events, and began being a chef at a restaurant and he was thinking she was asking about that? And it's like, oh, we actually just open. We don't really have package deals right now. But you're here all the time, we could probably get a manager and filter paperwork out and kind of get something together for you. And she kind of pulled them in a little closer and was like no, no, like, you do private events. And we always laugh and joke with like the guests we get kind of comfortable with what was like, a fucking time for that. Like no, I can't come cook for you in your house sleeping in the closet here. And so that was that was also before COVID Yeah, so you know, we're both chefs and restaurants. So like thinking about going to cook at somebody's house outside of work almost seemed possible. And yeah, so it came from and it kind of told me about it and we started talking about, like LLC names and shit that we really didn't need to get started. And you know, that was again like you said before coUnknown:
Have it. So as quickly as we kind of thought about it, we got swept back into work. And nothing really ever came from it. until months was later that we went and took a trip up to Maine, we watched a documentary called The biggest little farm on Hulu. And we were really inspired by that. And we look back into the program called Wolf. And if you ever heard about Wolf is only through your website, I found that I had never heard about it before yet. So just for anyone who is listening, Wolf is worldwide opportunities on organic buyers. And I found out about this when I volunteered a farm to get a job and a farm to table restaurant. And they told me it's weird to travel for free. So again, you offer your work, and you get free housing and free food from the farmer or the wolf host, if you will. And so after watching this documentary and being kind of stuck at home, and nothing really was going on, we decided to go take a trip to Maine and live on this farm for two months. And while we were there, we shared the idea that we had with the family. While it was like right before we went to Maine also, he wasn't working in his restaurant at all, if they close completely for six months without doing anything. I was only doing like a day or two jobs takeout kind of stuff. And she cooked for our grandparents. And one of our close our close friends that we met through the restaurants, I kind of did this whole kind of private dinner, I always forget about that. Yeah. And so we kind of had the idea of but nothing set in stone never really thought it could ever be a business. Yeah. And then when we met the main, we kind of share our idea and share these two dinners that he has done already. And the family kind of really took this idea really took it into process, the end kind of like gave us all the tools that we kind of needed to think about how to actually run this as a business, not just like a little kind of side project. So let's let's kind of pause really quick and kind of shuffle things around. We'll we'll get right back into this that you guys were, you're both cooking and we'll get into your background a little bit. But you were cooking in restaurants up until say COVID, right? Yes, a little bit of coke. So from you know, 15 years old, until COVID. So we're gonna be again until the Day on March 15. And they said you can't look at work anymore. I remember Bo packing up the French onion soup that you're going to pull out for two weeks. And some things we could freeze that we could use again when we came back and two weeks and I know I remember the whole mindset of like, alright, this is what we can use. This is what we can use take this home with you cuz it's gonna go bad if not and and never went back to that restaurant again. Guys working. Were you at the same place? No. So I was at a place called Site blue. It's a small French bistro in Doylestown, where we're from. And I was the opening executive chef at a place called Arden enough we didn't drink. It was like a Mediterranean restaurant woodfired pizza and Nick and more pasta that we opened right before the pandemic to be open to two months, two and a half months prior. And yeah, that was fun. So you guys were both what like laid off furlough just kind of indefinite break, whatever that scenario was called. And yeah, and try to wait off. Like he said he was doing a day, a day a week slot. And it was all kind of I don't know, it was all you know, onto the table. Yeah, at that point. So everybody can find employment, like we were told that we shouldn't do. So. Yeah, I was probably only working once or twice a week, only doing takeout and all that kind of stuff. And we actually had a sister restaurant called Casey prime Steakhouse. I was sous chef there for like five years. And we essentially merged both of our kitchen staff into our one restaurant. And we're doing both menus out of our one kitchen, which was Yeah, which was a pain in the ass. But you know, Ryan got to do what you had to do to kind of survive at that point. So when did you guys then decide to go to Maine? Like what was that? So that was I think, I think it was like the first few days of May. Again, man, we just watched this documentary. It's called the biggest little farm again, for anyone who wants to check it out. And the idea as a documentary is this couple buys a farm in LA. And the concept of the farm is that everything has to be in harmony with nature. And we talked about this at all wire events. And, and the example I always use is, when a coyote comes and eats your chickens, you don't just kill the coyote, because the coyote is kind of keeping balance of our ecosystem around us. And if you can manipulate that ecosystem to work for you. It'll naturally you know, stay sustain your fire, but they we kind of took that documentary and we like most chefs, it seems like love the outdoors, love gardening, love all of that. So we kind of took that as our fuel, if you will, to kind of walk back into this program to kind of make this change or to do this kind of life changing kind of thing because when we heard about this, five or six years prior, we just weren't in the right headspace to have all these things down. There was no time no money, no carServis Events:
Since five, six years ago, now, where I held the government's timeless to be held, we have time money, and we were really good and competent at what we were doing. So it all kind of just aligned that it was kind of a good time for us to go do something like that. And we talked a lot about, like, the idea that, like, skills are perishable. And we were sitting on our fucking couch all the time, like, not only do you lose the physical culinary skills, but you lose, like the mental discipline, the mental toughness that you get in the kitchen. And so we kind of say, like, for lack of better words, we were starting to feel salt. And, you know, we didn't really want to want that we've put a lot of time into kind of being people we are. And so we're just trying to look for literally anything we could have done at that point in time to just keep ourselves progressing and keep that kind of attitude. And, and that behavior, I guess, going and, and that was kind of the outlet we found. And thank God, we did, yes, they really helped us kind of make this into more of a reality and give us kind of some cool ideas and concepts that we brought back with us and put into all of our events. So what kind of things were you doing when you were up on this farm? So it was all on organic vegetable farm? So obviously, most of the time just weeding. Yes, there are tons of weeding. But we kind of took that which was cool. AndUnknown:
we did a lot of our our own stuff educating. So when we were kind of hanging around the house again, we also helped with, you know, doing some baking and we did butchering, we slaughtered and eviscerated chickens, were there. The family again, because we got very close with them allowed us to do things that never let anybody else do. So we were you know, making fresh cheese, you know, baking bread every day making tortillas like the whole family of you know, canning, all of the things that you would do on a homestead it well, this family did. And we kind of say like, when in Rome, we just hop right into what they were doing. Yeah, we just did everything nowadays. Because we were there to really learn and to kind of grow like, we had questions about everything I read. It wasn't just a farming practices and stuff like that. It was like, how do you guys do this? Well, yeah, you don't we were there to learn about organic farming, but also about sustainable living. Like that's what we want in our own personal lifestyles, and we want to live that kind of whole life. It's this isn't just something we preach about. It's something that we actually, you know, want to also do and to lead by example and going and learning how they how they lived and what they did and what it took to do that was like a really cool eye opening experience. That like really inspired us to come home and do the same thing you know, yeah, so yeah, I guess in a nutshell, why don't we ding Yeah. Well, data harvesting Yeah, edging, arching lettuce and yeah, like we were saying, like, we took the weeding aspect and everything and we would self educate ourselves on identifying the weeds we were picking and we also started kind of doing with our speakers of our chef background. We started doing a lot of the inventory in a lot of the like, like the harvesting and like the composting and like we kept track really well of like, what we brought in what's going out how they were doing the orders, what we composted that day, because we were harvesting it was the first time playing cucumbers. So we were harvesting like honestly broke 1000 pounds every couple days. Yeah, and they were only selling like 200 So they were just like art compost on whatever you will do, you can with all but so just you know, having my background with that I think helped us a lot of being able to kind of run the show for that and it was exactly what they needed at that point in time with the kind of family issues they were having and having us there was was really good for them. Did you have experience doing that stuff before like were you gardeners at home have you done have you done butchering before I did so at the it's called the like mainland in so I volunteered at Quarry Hill floor when I first ever heard about Wolfing to get a job at the mainland it and that situation was like you know, Koi hell foreign presents the mainland it was like their sister, you know, restaurant, whatever. So we did all the butchering stuff from there while we were working at the mainland. You know, we're Catholic trees and making maple syrup. We were raising bees and spending honey, we did our own hot sauces or vinegars or in cured meats. We took care of a whole garden outside of the restaurant, we did a herb garden farmer Baldino and we did a big grow up in the basement in the wintertime was growing herbs and lettuces and things like that. So yeah, it wasn't like major experience. But you know, not just like, I'm sure as you know, like, We're fucking workers, bro. We can go do anything. So go along this farm, that's all they asked for it was you know, you could actually just work and we had no problem doing that. So we fit in really well there and they really appreciated us and we want to learn a lot and we love being outside. We love being in the dirt. Yeah, we love being dirty. Yeah, so ya know, just fun for us. You don't have yet for you. It's been a garden back at your house, like back home. So it's funny. So we've had like all of these big ambitions and we'll be learned and me and what we're going to do we got back and I planted a garden before we left and I went to Maine. I had told my girlfriend like just let it go does it doesn't matter you know, she's gonna take care of your client if I go to shit. And so we had anything for grilling and we're getting big plants and everything like that and so you have this big ambition of all these things we're gonna do and we're gonna buy an apple tree and we're gonna bla bla bla and when we came home I guess we had a really for the first time and you know kind of with COVID the earth got to kind of recover a little bit. And so we had to get really good winter here in Pennsylvania. And so we have a big sugar gum tree next to our house that I think ended up growing a couple inches and every kind of direction. And then as we started kind of getting into working the soil and kind of added some compost to it, like our soil was so much clay Yeah, so it was like as hard as a desk that won't sitting at you on and union mind to, that's what I know. And then just with our business are in to kind of take off and things getting started. At this point in time. It's just easier for us to buy it from the people. I know we absolutely will. Yeah. Again, we have our gardens and we have little things that we had always around the house and we're doing little stuff but to have an actual garden right now is it's not something we that we have, it's a ton of work. I mean, this time of year, even when I had like slow periods with my business, it was still a ton of work the weeding thing. Like if you guys ever want to get paid to come weed my garden, I'll pay you to like, I mean, it's just it's it's a lot. So I try and grow things that like people maybe that I can't buy, like I have some really cool heirloom seeds. But like, if it's just going to be tomatoes, I'm so much better just buying them from someone around here. There's a funny saying that goes tide nine and the garden stops for nobody. So no matter how slow you are, how busy you are like that should still growing out there. It's not going to stop for anybody out. It's got it. It's always funny. I think every time we've gone away for a week we have a garden you come back and it's like 10 times bigger than a wilderness oil. Well, at least we just had a bigger Yeah. Or it's completely dead because someone didn't take care of it for you. Yeah. One or the other. So yeah, we definitely love we'd love all this job. Yeah, we we like do a lot of foraging and the spirit of summertime will have on our menus. The wild forage pesto's and we do a pickled ramps out every spring. There'll be really enjoy and stuff like that. We love doing the mushroom people which mushrooms a lot. We don't serve those we do ourselves. Yeah. So how did you really start the personal chef business? Like when did you start that? And what did that first event look like that? You did? We had this idea coming back from me. We actually cut our our trip two months short. We're split into four monitors. They always say for two, we came back we took about three weeks really to like kind of reassimilate back into like reality and just decide to zone that was in May. We were awesome. We're in the middle of nowhere. Yeah. So coming back and seeing all the traffic and everything we had here it was kind of like a readjustment period. And then we kind of just said, Fuck it all and put it out. We always as Chancellor, I'm straight up the same way coming up in the restaurant, we always felt some sense of loyalty to the restaurants we worked with. So we didn't want it to reflect poorly on us. We just came back didn't tell our restaurant that was like, Oh, hey, we're running our own business. We were both Salford, our jobs back. That's that's why we were both when we were away. We both got letters saying hey, you're welcome to come back to work, you know, whatever. So we both had these offers come back. That's why he's kind of saying like, didn't know if it'd be a bad thing. If I came back. It wasn't like, Hey, show up. Just so you know, I haven't talked to you in eight months. But I'm not coming back to work. Yeah. And yeah, we got to a point where you just said fuck it. And we just made an Instagram page. And because this is what we've been doing our whole professional or adult, our adult lives, like, when we put something out saying, Okay, this is what we're going to do. It was always how people were kind of like, it's about time you're doing that. God Yeah, soil. Our first our first event was not great. I mean, it was, like instant table. It's funny looking back on, like what we wore, yeah. And like, while we were thinking about, like, you know, we still are, you know, what we what we're trying to portray back then, like, again, first time we're like, there's nobody telling us what we can and can't do. So like didn't really know if he wanted to wear the chef jackets or if he wanted to, like, I don't know, just be more t shirt casual and to kind of be more of ourselves and, and so just finding looking back on pictures and just seeing like what we're wearing and yeah, or what we were serving the food was so good. But yeah, to see it wasn't as like as it is refined. Yeah, so we actually, last month, cooked again for the first strangers we ever cooked for when we first started, like two October's ago. Yeah, and I, I know, they told us also, but like their experience just now compared to the first time it's fucking blew out of the water. It is cool to see and to not hear guests tell us like, Yo, every time you guys come here, it's way better. So we kind of, like I'm sure, like, you know, kind of take it upon yourself to look at what you're doing, adjust a little bit, think about better ways to do things. And, you know, we kind of keep telling ourselves if we just keep making little improvements over time. We're gonna have made a gentleman Yeah, we'll have a major a major change. Yeah, so we do not first came back and put this out. And I mean, we'd say You know, we've done a lot more since then. But you know, from that first weekend event, we've done at least one a week or weekend you know, since then we're now doing about three or four A week, which is kind of right where we want to be. It's been technical, we'll spend a lot of fun, you know, again, the people we get to meet as we do it, and to see how it's like, constantly growing, it was fine. We were first starting with being excited that like, our filing cabinet is starting to fill up, getting more papers, my filing cabinet and all this, like, just those little things that we've never done anything like this before, or ever had anything of our own. Kind of like this, you know, we were always just restaurant dogs. Did you have any business experience because that's what I find a lot of people like their chefs, their restaurant people, but running a business like a real business is very different. So we have our associate's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. But aside from that, no, like, we kind of keep joking around. And we sit down with accountants now and all this kind of stuff. We're always like, listen, bro, like, we are back of the house train chefs. And that's it. You know, I never did any the front of house management, or any kind of like, closing the books at end of the day or so. No, in that sense. No, we don't. But our dad's been entrepreneurs whole life, you know, we've kind of been around it a little bit, you're never going to be ready, and you're never going to know everything. So your best bet is to just start. And once you start, you're gonna learn as you go, and you're gonna figure it out. Like, you don't have to be an account to start your own business, you don't even know how it happened, do your own banking to start your own business like, so we've been finding a lot of that stuff of just as you go, like, it almost forces you to figure it out end to end to find out how to do it. And so that's how to spend the major thing for us is just getting started and getting the clientele and get some money coming in. So we can keep doing things and work out with you know, and now we're just we're getting into kind of the serious aspect of things and getting into our taxes for the first time and, and all that kind of cool stuff, or not cool, but stuff you have to get done. Right? Yeah, for me, it does feel it does feel cool. And we take pride in the fact that like we can generate our own money, and we can pay our own taxes. So you can do all this kind of stuff. And where are you finding your customers? It's mostly honestly, where a mouth? No, I like like we were saying so we've been in this same box county area our whole lives, essentially, our parents have been here, you know, Lions too, you know, we have, for lack of better words, like a very good, like, hate reputation around here. So like you said, but we didn't start this a lot of people will they go great about time someone came with to try it a lot of referrals, a lot of word of mouth and social media. Yeah, man, then our own website. And that's really it. We don't we don't pay for marketing ads, we don't pay for like direct mail campaigns. Like, we don't really do anything of that because we had just been saying that word of mouth kind of gets the job done. And it's been I guess, extremely beneficial. We obviously be handout on pamphlets to everybody our events, you know, we can talk about it everywhere we go. We have them in like you know, local shops around town down, I'll get to sit on the calendar and you know, whatever. But that's that's kind of really it. And I think the fact that we use only local companies and local produce and local farms. So when we go and we talk to the people who work there, or the farmers and it's not they then tell all of the people who come there about us and so it's kind of just is being community driven. It takes a village and yeah, we got a whole village kind of around us. Yeah, it's really helping us. Yeah. How far do you do? Like what's your kind of travel radius? Like do you feel like you're gonna have to expand that at some point? I know like local only gets you so far at some point then you kind of have oversaturated we didn't we like you know, we try and source locally, that does not mean we only serve locally does that like we've gone to all the beach towns at where are you? Um, I'm in Frederick, Maryland. So I'm like two hours away from you. He's gone to like, you know, down down to Jersey. We're from Pennsylvania like Southeast Pennsylvania. So yeah, we're going down to New Jersey, which is about two and a half hour drive. You also you talk five out to driving but no roundly do that for for bigger parties. Yeah, he 10 people stuff like that. Yeah. But our average or average drives about 40 minutes, you know, what, half hour, usually? 40 minutes? Yeah, wherever we go. Yeah, I don't know if it's good or bad. And I'll be honest, if you have no problem traveling or coming to you, if you seem like a really great person, we're gonna do we're gonna have a good time waits, and you know, what, all that kind of stuff. You know, obviously, our time is important to us. But I think nourishing people and serving them good food and kind of raising the awareness of what's around us is more important than that. So we will, we will kind of go the extra mile to come further than we have to do this. There'll be also shopping while doing it. And how many courses do you guys normally serve? And like, what's your price point? I mean, you're seven courses and is to a knowledge person. And no pushback on that with pricing. Like how do you find no again, like so it's one of those things like I don't want to sound this way either. But like it's one of those things that have to say like, oh, this is too expensive and like you just aren't Are you aren't applying for us? You know what I mean? You know, yeah, we've heard that but we've also had people who've been with us seven times who tell us that there are precious art Shoot cheap. Again. Like, we bring absolutely everything, everything like, we try to make it. So if you're at a restaurant, what do you bring to a restaurant, bring yourself, we try to make it that literally you come into your own kitchen and you sit down and you get up just like you would interact. And that's it. And that is it. You know, we bring the menus, we'll be bringing napkins bring water and water glasses, you bring a flower bouquet, we bring a speaker for music company if they don't like they don't have it on their on their own. We read all the cookware all the play where all all the silverware again, and then we take it all back with us and clean it up at our kitchen. So there's no cleaning up in your house. There's no clanking dishes around while you're trying to eat enjoy a meal. It's it's very in and out for us and very intimate and special for the guests. And then we do a lot of interaction. We do a lot of this. There's a lot of conversating there's a lot of talking, you know, there's a lot of our personality that comes through when we do these events. Yeah, people love hearing our stories. And we love hearing those, which is most important thing to us of why we try and why we do these smaller events. Yeah, we don't do you know, we haven't done yet or anything like that. We don't do the micro weddings, you know, our biggest party has been like 11 people. And you know, because we get to now meet everybody over there. You know, like, I want to leave here like nothing's your dog's name. And knowing your kid said, y'all, we want you to kind of know the same about us. And you know, we're, this is more than just serving you food. It's about trying to, you know, create a cannabidiol connections and community relationship building. And I think because of that, you know, we haven't we, we've had guests who have booked with us seven times, you know what I mean? So like, there's things like that, that, like we're starting to see now. Because it's gotten to last a year, just like in China saying just the saying yes. And going out and doing these events as far as they were, or whatever it was, like, we're seeing all those relationships now started to come back. And mostly everybody who reaches out to us now is from Oh, you cook for my cousin, or you cook for you know, my girlfriend's sister over here. And, oh, I saw your pamphlets in store here. And they only had getting great things to say about you. And then as far as menus go, how does that work? Are you kind of working around what your customer likes? Do you guys have a set thing, seven courses is a lot of dishes to do. I always say if you hate beats will always work with you to make something that you like. But we change our menu every single month. That's why we are saying that we've had people book with us seven times or so because they want to try the new menu every single month. So we change it every single month with what's coming out what the farmers are producing with what local people are having. It keeps us excited, it keeps them excited. We have our set menu, it's always updated on our website, we always send out a email campaign telling everybody about it. And like I said, if you don't like it, where to absolutely hate whatever we have on the menu, we will then at that point work with you to figure something out if you really, really want to have us. Yeah, we've had people like we were doing a lot when we first started like pick your protein kind of thing like your chicken administering was one price, steak doc lamb, fish, pork, whatever else was another price that we have like steak and lobster as another price. And as we've got into the winter menus, not as like colorful, were fun as the white beans spring and summertime. So we kind of got rid of that pick your protein option. And now the menus more so set and we kind of incorporate meats kind of throughout the menu, whereas we cook mainly vegetarian. What we're trying to highlight, like local produce everything. The menu is mostly vegetarian until the entree. Well, yeah, every month we try and change it. We try and stay relevant. We're trying to do different things. Again, look like you're saying we're trying to keep ourselves familiar people's eyes and keep people thinking about us. And you know, oh, just because you couldn't get a date this month. Well, when you see the email campaign about the new menu, you might want to look back into your calendar for February. See if you have a day in February you want to focus for but you don't get into this thing where someone reaches out to you and says hey, you know, it's my wife's birthday. I really want to do strip steak and make a molten chocolate lava cake. We do. So we do that. Yeah, again, like like he like he was saying, like, we put out this menu, cuz our biggest thing is about creating awareness level food, eating seasonal, being connected, connected to the land, we kind of see the spiritual side of food and food being a medicine. So that's kind of really big for us. Where he said, Dude, if you want strip steak and walk in lava cake, bro, we're gonna do it for you. Yeah. And like, we have no problem with that. But we kind of do see a lot they like a lot of people don't know what they want. Or they're uncomfortable with telling you what they actually want. You know what I mean? So yeah, a lot of people usually just take the menu and we had before told people like listen, like, I know some of these things are a little unique or there might be a little different from what you've eaten and and not assigned. So but a lot of the restaurants around here are fairly mediocre others around honestly, I'm like there's nothing that's like there's a few that are like pushing the envelope and doing kind of cool things. So we've told people like listen, if you don't have an allergy, just try it. Just give it a try. You know, you might find something that you've that you've really liked that you've never tried before. And you know, just because If you didn't like the way your mom cooked can beets doesn't mean you like the way that we cook really good, fresh local ones. You want to look at brussel sprouts now like nobody ate brussels sprouts for like a couple 100 years. It's like, well, yeah, because they were just boiling frozen brussel sprouts and it's my number one selling vegetable right now then I'll sue. Donald off that, like, Dude, we've had so many people tell us, if I wasn't in my friend's house, trying to be polite, and you put this menu down in front of me, I would get up and walk away. But as you're sitting here and eating through the entire menu, you have completely changed my entire mind on asparagus, or beets or turnips or whatever. And like that's all we that's really the only reason why we started this. Yeah, I can't tell you how many grown men you've served. You've never eaten a radish. Yeah. You know, saying like, it's like that. It's just like, it's it's still wild, you know. And once they, they once they open their mind to it, and they conquerable with us being there and everything like that. Like, they always really enjoy it. And never they've told us like, listen, I would probably don't think about ordering ordering the students when I go out again, or if I see him on a menu somewhere else. What are some of your favorite things to make? Pasta? handle handle classes? Debit my favorite? We do. We offer pasta classes, our two that were kind of filling up and getting pretty popular with Yeah, we honestly didn't like just a lot of like vegetable cookery. You know, I know that sounds kind of broad. But um, we've always seen like, anybody can put salt pepper on a steak and sear it and make it taste good. And put on a grill and chop it up. Whatever. But like, it's hard to make, you know, a carrot cvwd with duck fat, you know, tastes amazing. Yeah, we got like, we were saying we've taken vegetables and had people be like, Yo, this tastes nothing like, you know, brace on over that. And we just had on the menu for the last two months. Like everyone's always gone with so wicker she and you know, a nice flavor. And I just really don't like that. And okay, well, if you cook it this way, and you add these flavors to it, like it kind of gets very neutral flavor. And he kind of just takes on everything else that's kind of around it. And so he had his own vegetables in a rolling pasture and doing kind of dough work like that, like more more hands on things. Yeah, start starting like pastry a little bit more, as we're forced into it. Now. We don't have a lot of pastry trading. That's been cool, though. Because like we were always very concerned with even even before this with, like, you know, if I take a job as executive chef Walden, who was teaching me about food, which is a very naive mindset, you know, I see now. So we were always kind of afraid to go if we work for ourselves, like who's teaching us? And honestly, bro, I think we've learned more about food and everything else in the past a year than we have in any restaurant, or, you know, learning from yourself and pushing yourself and now you get to look into things do you actually want to cook yourself? And you know, which is which is really exciting and fun for us. And there's so many resources these days. I mean, with the internet and the availability of books and knowledge. I mean, I tell the younger people, you know, I'm 45 When I was in culinary school, I didn't literally even have the internet until I was a sophomore, right, like, and they didn't even take that as a reference for things like you had to do a report on like foods of Spain, I had to go to a library. I hope they had a book on the foods of Spain, which, you know, 1995 probably didn't really they had like one or two, you know, and now it's like, I was just telling someone the other day I taught myself how to butcher a pig's head by watching like a Chris Cosentino like YouTube video, you know? That's amazing. That way it's so funny you say that and like, because we're we're like, what fairly resistant to technology. Like when we remain we did like some why we made our own aprons we did sex out, like knitted our own kind of dish rags and stuff. And we always say to that, like, how did you guys learn all this? Where do you learn the strong bargain during the middle of fucking nowhere? Like, yeah, they will only always say YouTube videos. Like, like, why? Like, why can't Why can't it be a book by kind of doing something like this like, and so we started to now more so like, I just learned how to like really make like passive gray on you know, on YouTube videos we did in a French restaurant, like a really classical like there was a way of doing it. But I couldn't get that to work. I couldn't remember all the technique. So I can just watch YouTube videos and guide perfectly got it perfectly. Yeah, watching someone do something. I mean, reading it. I mean, everyone learns differently, right? Like some people can read it and pick it up. But when you see fully visually, the visuals are probably good for at least you know sort of chefs like us and it added that I've always wanted to be that way the Golf I read it but like you know, we have the old, like no technique books that are pictures, and then trying to explain it and bros way easier is watch a video, ya know what I mean? Then trying to piece some of these pictures together and see what they're doing on in between. And so now what like are you just going to kind of continue on this path of what you've been doing. Are you in? are you integrating new stuff into what you're doing? Right now we have through our our backgrounds, we have the understanding, at least in a restaurant, it takes at least five years for you to really try to say hey, we weren't here you kind of made it so we understand that we are still and will be for a few years in that growing state. So Right now what we're trying to do, or what we see, we're going to do is keep doing what works, keep improving what we're doing, you know, if anything, we'll start maybe doing a little more marketing again. And we do have a lot of new things happening. Pasta class is a big one. Yeah, just started recently do pasta classes. Again, we were trying to find ways to like the weekdays, weekends fill up, no problem. Yatra. As you know, like, it's very easy to get people to book Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So the past the class has been a cool way to kind of do more weekday solve a sign as long, it's not as expensive. And then we actually had somebody, which is another thing we're, you know, which is, yeah, adding these little things, where it's offering like a wine pairing and wine class with it, we had a girl reach out to us named Charlotte Adams, she reached out to us and she has her master's degree in wine and vineyard science, from like the University of Bordeaux, or some really long French name from France. And so she reached out to us today, like, yeah, I would love to work with you, is there a way we can figure out how to do a partnership kind of thing. And so we're gonna start to offer, you know, if you want to pay, you know, X amount of price per person, just $35 a person plus the cost of your wine, we'll bring her with us, you know, she'll work with you, you know, to order the wines and local places of people she kind of is associated with help you do the ordering, she can either pick it up for you. And then she'd come along with us the events and she teach about the wine, and she pour the wine and explain kind of why it's going with each course. And you know why she chose this and what's kind of special and cool about it. We've told people you know, we can offer you, you know, wine recommendations, we'll send it to a friend and we'll get recommendations. Like I'm not buying it. I'm not providing it. I'm not pouring it. I don't even want to open that can of worms really and you know, with the legalities and elegance, at least in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania is stranger and their alcohol walls are just ridiculous. Like, we don't even want to even put our foot in there. So yeah, so having this girl now is kind of our, our bridge. Yeah. to that. So yeah, we're excited about that. But it really man like, what's next is just keep pushing, keep going and meet more farmers. If we could have like three or four like week like mother farms were like, Yeah, we only get from you. And you know, we know what's coming. We know you're growing kind of certain things for us, which we do have a couple of these in the work we have, you know, some Blackbird Farm is a big one near us who we sat down with and donec went over his foreign plans, what he has coming and he took anything that like we would maybe want him to grow up for us. We spent the whole last year just kind of cruising around and experimenting with places and meeting people and going to farmers markets and talking and networking and blah, blah. And so I think it'd be cool to just as we go over the next few years, like really establish the people we want to work with have the set people this is what we're doing. They're behind us. We're behind them, you know, kind of relationship and what hasn't worked for you anything like is there anything you were doing when you started that you've kind of just like shuffled off? Yes. And you tried to do like, like a three course like weekday dinner, that would have been, you know, half the price, which when when we say three courses, it's a museum use booths, of course a second an intermezzo, then the third, then dessert, so it's totally five course yeah, but we just don't count the intermezzo. And the amuse boosh, I don't know why we sought to do the work for them. But we just need to stall. And so doing that will try a way to kind of come in and be half the amount of time we can be in and out and like an hour and a half not, ya know, and it's half the price and you know, help weekday business. And, dude, it was just two people's hypertrophy blocks. That'll work. There's two of us too. So you know, I mean, like, you guys got to split the money. Like, I'm a solo show for the, for the most point, it's not worth it for me to do that. Exactly. And so it was that was something that just like, Yeah, we just did two of them, and it was for the same person. And so that was like, Alright, we just got that kind of kicked to the side. And we also we tried doing like kinda like meal prep stone when it wasn't really meal prepping. It was like, we would go to our farms and our connections, and we would get all the produce, and we wouldn't make you like a big batch of quinoa salad like that. But anyway, yeah. So when we were in meeting, the family, how they eat was kind of on a whole meal rotation. So it's the same thing on Monday, the same thing on Tuesday, the same day on Wednesday, but it was variety driven yet and we're never tired of it. So we saw that and we're like, man, that'd be so cool to kind of help people implement that into their lives. Because it took the stress of making dinner and month kind of for yourself. So we tried doing that for people doing this, you know, bulk Trek and stuff like that. And we did a few of those too. But one of those things that we kind of realized that was way too much work wasn't enough money weren't getting enough out of it, like led to it's taking our attention away from what is working. Like, that's a scratch that also. What we saw again, was with the whole like, you know, meal meal, no rotating like they knew exactly what they had to shop for every week. The other wife knew exactly how many ounces of pasta she had to cook every day. He knew exactly how many pounds of meat you to pull out of the freezer. She knew exactly kind of what the whole next day would look like, because they were on this schedule. And we thought was fascinating to be honest with you, their whole family was all homeschooled. They're all in like, their 40s are all you know, the kids and everything. But so they were saying, like, you know, when they were all at homeschooling everything they would do one day a month, they will do all the prep for the entire month. You're gonna get your clicker for one day for the entire month, and you're just free shit and pull it out. Yeah. So we kind of tried doing that for people and everything. And it does, yes, it didn't take off didn't wear well. And if you're charging $200 for like a high end dinner, like you're not gonna get anywhere near that for that meal prep kind of stuff, right? Okay, so we're never, we're never no matter what we do, we're never willing to jeopardize the quality. So we're never not willing to go to the farms, we're never not willing to buy the farm meat, which is no matter what expensive, which I believe around it. So we were doing like, you know, we're going to give you all the receipts, and we're going to show you if they were buying, and you're gonna give us the money back for the food. And then we're gonna charge $500. On top of that, for us to do all the all the shopping all the prepping again, we're driving to farm. So it's a lot of driving around the county and going different places. We're going to use our containers that you're going to recycle and get back to us. And then we're going to prep it, get it all labeled mad Cavanaugh and drop it off to you. We also we would write kind of sheets and how to reheat it, what you could put with what what looks good together, how to dress it and all that other kind of stuff. So like it was it was a lot of work. And yeah, it just didn't really didn't really work and it was taking away from our private event business will win. And then it was a lot which is like where we're starting to see now and try to like, as much as we can move away from it was a lot of chasing people down. Hey, are you want to do it again this week? Hey, like, are we prepping again for you this week. And the more time we're spending on on email is trying to call off the people the last time we're cooking and getting the things that actually matter? Does anyone help you with anything? Do you ever bring like extra servers to events? Or is it just the two of you will bring like my girlfriend who has like fine dining sorting experience, but that's only for like, parties of like 10 or more. So to answer now not really like so I think sauce sauce at events. I do a lot of the serving, like I do all the talking and I do all the spilling we serve the dishes and Teller aisle is everything like that. We both do the plating and he's more so the back of house I just didn't cooking and all that kind of tone. And we both played it up and do do all kinds of cool stuff. But yeah, and we both kind of run the plates out. But I kind of hang out explain what it all is answer questions. We promote questions. You know, we kind of, you know, encourage pictures, you know, we encourage posts, you want to film anything like you know, we were all about it. We love that we can kind of let the guests be as it evolved or not as they choose to be. I tell them hey, do you want to come stand next to me while I'm cooking up the stove and asking what I'm doing. I love that you can you can you know this is your home, you can do anything you want here. You know, we are here to show you put on and show kind of teach inspire anything. So yeah, we encourage everybody to be as in it with us as as we are as as a Tuesday. I think yeah, I think people really kind of like that would be kind of give them like the opportunity to say, Oh yeah, I do want to do that. Or like No, I'm okay. We're just sitting here and eating that time. And we didn't even get into this. So you guys are twin brothers. Yes. Yeah. What's the what's the dynamic of that? Like, do you guys work together? Well, I mean, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, no. So we were putting them together. Yeah. Yeah, we live in the same house. So again, we've always been really cool. Growing up, we were always best friend says we grow up. And then we started going to culinary school in high school. So we like went to tech school, MIT in Jemison, right here for culinary arts and kind of joke right to tell people like, no reason why we did that, bro was because we got an hour and 15 minutes less school every day. And that sounded cool. It sounded fun. And we got to get on a bus and go somewhere else. And, and culinary was ago, you get to eat that sound. That sounds cool. And we fell in love with it. And it was the best decision we ever made. But they're the second year our class has merged together. And so from there, we kind of started working in the kitchen together. And we started doing this together in that space, if you will. Then we got our first jobs. And we our first job we got together just through a family friend. And so that was our first time working together. And so from that, you know, we always just a lot of providing working our parents instilled a good work ethic in us. And so like, every time you go to a restaurant and you prove yourself to be good restaurants, we're always hiring. So we came in chef, just so you know, like, I have a twin brother who's just as good as me. And he loved to work here too. And if I could bring him in, you know what I mean? And so we always kind of ended up like someone would go somewhere they bring another person in. And you know, so that happened a lot of times. Yeah, we did work at a few places together for a while. It was one of those things we saw a lot too like if it Steven Nick congruence all day. Nobody can compete with us. You want to name like tomorrow, if it's fucking John and Gabby on it, like, Tony ain't gonna be the same. You know what I mean? So yeah, we got really good at that. And now y'all again, we live Together, we do have them together, we are now really falling into our roles. Yeah. And in the business, the others, like we were saying, when we first started, we just stopped and started. Yeah, this ball Selena has a balls to the wall, we know how to cook food, we know how to entertain. Let's do that. And we're worried about everything else as it counts. So now we're really kind of starting to fall into our roles here, which was, I think we all speak for myself, well, which was the most frustrating factor of every day, not knowing who's gonna do what are you going to handle Instagram posts or live on the handle? Are you going to handle emails? Were my iPhone to handle shopping? Where are you? Yeah, am I ever going to trip more and you're going to prep more, I'm going to quickly move on. Now we're really kind of falling into what our roles are, essentially. And I like the old T we're excited. And yeah, the teamwork of it, y'all. being twins, the RFR avatar, whole floppy lives. We were taught at the youngest age possible that we share every day. Yeah, and that's just how it goes. So putting that into our business, and having I guess that background really kind of helps us to be able to do what we do. Like, today, for an example, you know, he had to get his own fix. So I'm gonna go do all the shopping, you know, like, you need to go do this, or I do will also handle that. So one of the questions I've really been exploring this season with people is, what does it mean to you guys to be a chef, the first thing I guess, I think, like comes up just by feeling into it is like yo nourishment, also that same thing. So nourishment, I feel a sense of responsibility. Again, we probably have a, we probably have different views and some other chefs, we're into, like, the indigenous culture, and we're into, you know, we're into nature, like, we understand that. And, you know, like, we're supposed to be here, like, humans are no different than any other animal, we just so happened to figure out how to fucking make these computers and cars and, and buildings, also the kind of shit but like, we're supposed to be stewards of the planet, and we're supposed to be taking care of the planet. And I feel like in ours, at least in our business, like, we feel personal responsibility to show people of how they can also do that, and how they can eat the way that you know, that promotes kind of generational wealth of the planet and our people. And again, when you do those things, you're more nourished, and it feels better for you if you're buying anything by I think being a chef really is the only way at least, you know, again, in my opinion, is the only way that you can do what she just said. And people will listen to you whilst I teach it. You can be a teacher and somebody Addison's it to be a chef, to me, seems like yes, you are a teacher, a teacher of our natural foods are nourishing foods of what the earth provides us. We all have to eat. Yeah, we all need to eat and we all I think can try to agree that a lot of the food that we're eating in our world as often boys. So a to us I think being a chef today is represented or explained as being a steward of the Earth, fucking train and teach people that you can live a credibly nourishing and delicious lifestyle through food and local local community local things and, and feel great about it. We've really loved having you guys on the show today. Thanks so much for coming on. There's dirt in Indiana. Ready time. Yeah, everything you need to plug before you get out of here. Any events, anything? I mean, I'll put all your info in the show notes. Our website is www dot service. So it's NCR BIA s is where you spell our name and what we call our business. So it's service dash events.com. We're on Instagram at service events. And that's really about it. Yeah, you can sign up for our email, your email list. Put it on through our website. Yeah, sorry about it. Awesome. Well, we'll have all that in the show notes. And to our listeners, this has been Chris with the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast, go to chefs without restaurants.org To find our Facebook group, mailing list and check database. The community's free to join. You'll get gig opportunities, advice on building and growing your business and you'll never miss an episode of our podcast. Have a great week.