2. George Crum and Tallahassee Date Night (BHM Series)

The Flaky Foodie’s Black History Month series includes information about a historical African-American food pioneer and a conversation with a  modern-day culinary trailblazer.

This is the first installment in the series, and in it we’ll  learn about a lauded restauranteur (George Crum) who may or may not have created the potato chip. Then we will talk with Demetrius Murray, or Chef Romance, the entrepreneur behind a one-of-a-kind experience for both lovers and friends, Tallahassee Date Night.

Tallahassee Date Night

The Flaky Foodie

Intro/Outro Music: Sha’Ron Vaughn

George Crum Sources:


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This transcript is computer-generated and may contain word/grammatical errors.

Jess 0:00
Hello and welcome to the flaky foodie podcast. The only show where the discussion is delicious and there’s chatter to chew on. But today we’re going to start our Black History Month series past and present, where we talk about an African American food pioneer in the past. And then we’re going to jump to the present and talk with chefs and food entrepreneurs who are making a difference today. First, we’re going to talk about the man who may or may not have invented the potato chip. Second, we’re going to talk with Chef Romance of Tallahassee date night, bringing the lap of luxury to you and your boo, or maybe even your crew. It’s coming up now on the flaky foodie.

Now, you may have heard the story of the potato chip, and it goes a little something like this. There’s this wealthy businessman who’s eating at this restaurant. And in some accounts of the story, this person is none other than the famous Cornelius Vanderbilt of the Vanderbilt name. That ancestor of Gloria Vanderbilt was popular for making jeans in the 80s and 90s. And also Anderson Cooper, who was a famed journalist and reporter. And so Cornelius Vanderbilt is sitting at this table or whoever the wealthy person is, and they’re ordering french fries, essentially fry potatoes. And so they keep taking a bite of these potatoes and saying, Oh, they’re too thick, and sending them back to the kitchen. And so on and on. And on this when until the chef got a little bit creative and a lot a bit petty, cut these potatoes into the smallest thinnest pieces imaginable, threw them in some high grease until they were brown and then sent them back out to this wealthy patron who may or may not be a Vanderbilt. And so you know, the saying for Pringles is once you pop the fund doesn’t stop or you can’t with Lay’s, you can’t eat just one. So imagine tasting the joy that is a potato chip. For the very first time. I imagined that maybe the the angel saying and there was music. And everyone around this wealthy man’s table saw this and was like, I’ll have what he’s having maybe two or three baskets. And thus the popularity of the Potato Potato Chip was bored. So I’ll tell you why the story is so compelling, is one of the few stories where you have this very rich kind of ornery person and the everyday person kind of at odds with each other. And both of them end up being winners, you have the chef who winds up being a winner by creating this snack food, they’re significantly popular, you have this hoity toity tycoon who ends up winning because he finally gets the potatoes that he wants. Maybe a little theater that he was expecting was still delicious, nonetheless. And then you have the African American history aspect of the story that makes it infinitely shareable. The fact that the chef is not other than George Crumb, a chef that is African American, or of African American descent, who, who was the person who created one of the most beloved snack foods in American culture, but like most things that seem too good to be true. This story may be too good to be true as well. Either article I read on MIT or even the I’m sorry, I don’t remember, said that this story. The earliest known accounts of it was actually by a potato chip company or the potato chip industry as a whole. And if you think about it, the story is a little too well crafted to be fat. So what’s the real story? And as I began to delve into studying George Crumb, who is credited as being the chef in the story, I found out that even if he may not have created the potato chip, at least not in the story that we all love, that he is someone definitely to be researched in his own right. George Crumb was born George speck. His parents were a Native American woman and a black African American man. And his dad was a jockey and sometimes he went by the name crumb. And so that is how George spec became George Crump. He has one sister that we know of. Her name was Catherine or sometimes they call her Kate. And she was kind of his sous chef in the kitchen when he worked at the restaurant where potato chips were said to be created. Now George spec or George Crum. He was a hunter and a guide. And then he kind of got into the restaurant business and began to work at moons lake house in Saratoga lake in New York. work. So yes, he did work at that restaurant where potato chips were said to be created.

Again, we don’t know if the story of the patrons in the chips is true. And some people actually attribute that story or even the creation of the potato chips. So his sister Kate, and the story goes a little bit differently on her in instead of somebody sending back chips and the person her cutting them very, very thinly and sending them back out. She was just cutting up potatoes because moves Lakehouse was really known for their fried potatoes before I think George or Mr. Crumb was at the helm of the restaurant or was before he was the head chef at the restaurant. They were famous for potatoes. And so when Kate was cutting up the potatoes, she cut a little thin please a little sharp from her process fell down into the high grease. So she pulled it out and tried it and then had everybody tasted it and that’s how the potato chip was born. Another person who was attributed to creating the potato chip came before George speck or George Chrome was even employ and moves Lakehouse there’s somebody who’s been lost to history, just first name Elisa’s all they know is she was credited as making delicious potatoes and moves Lakehouse. But I’m not so sure about that. Maybe his story can clear that up a little bit more, but it moves Lakehouse was already known for having fried potatoes. Perhaps they weren’t talking about potato chip them potatoes. But perhaps she was famous for their original style of potatoes that moves like how served. Either way, like I said, it’s a bit hazy, we don’t know. But George Crum. Our George spec deserves to be celebrated in his own right, whether or not the potato chip was his invention or not. One of the key reasons they kind of doubt that he even created the potato chip is because he was such a super famous super accomplished chef, and had articles written about him and papers and so forth and so forth. If he created the potato chip, it seems like it would have been mentioned throughout his lifetime. It’s like if emerald created the crow net, and the krona ended up being this very popular snack that everybody ate and everybody loved. But it’s never mentioned in any record of his life. That emerald created the crow net. So in the same vein, we have no record throughout George Chrome’s life that he created the chip. Upon his death in his obituary, he is listed as being the founder or the creator, the inventor of the potato chip. To make matters even more complicated. In his sister’s obituary, she is listed as being the one who created the chip, which I think is a little funny. If my sister was getting credit for something that I created, I definitely will want it in history and in the record that hey, upon my death, tell everybody that I’m the one who really created this thing. But I’m sure that wasn’t how things went down. That’s

just my imagination. Let’s go back to the story is mentioned that one of the Vanderbilts is the rich hoity toity snob in the story. Historians that study his life though say that is categorically false. And then he is he couldn’t have been the man in the story at all. And so we have the story kind of unraveling bits and pieces that we don’t know. Did the story happened with the Patriots and him at the chips at all? Cornelius Vanderbilt wasn’t even there. Maybe it was his sister who created a potato chip. Aha, why are we even talking about this person who their story may be missing lies? Well, the story of the potato chip is shrouded in mystery. But the story of a restaurant tour who was so popular that he’s basically the Emerald of his day is very much true. George Crum definitely deserves to be celebrated. Whether or not he was the inventor of the potato chip, because one thing is certain he definitely made them popular, even though he may not have made the first batch here in America. Once the George left the Moon’s Lake House, he started his own restaurant called crumbs place. And they’re at that restaurant, guess what was served on every table, a basket of potato chips, and potato chips began to be first known as Saratoga chips. And where was Chrome’s place and moves lake house located in Saras in Saratoga, New York, and so the area definitely Academy potato she was popular, and I believe Mr. Chrome was definitely the person who pioneer that and and got the potato chips out there until they were popular in American culture. And his restaurant. Chrome’s place, didn’t just last a couple of years or a couple of months, it lasted 30 years, 30 years of being a very accomplished, talked about and celebrated chef. And that’s perhaps also where we get the part of the story that Cornelius Vanderbilt was that patriot who kept sending back the potatoes and kind of ushered in the creation of the potato chip, because he was some of the high profile people that a at Chrome’s place. So that’s why we’re talking about Mr. Chrome today. He was an accomplished restaurant owner, an accomplished chef, and possibly the creator of the potato chip. Either way you slice it, he’s somebody who deserves to be talked about and his accomplishments deserve to be remembered. And so next week, we’re going to keep the phone going and talk about another African American food pioneer. But first, let’s jump into the present and talk about someone who is a mover and shaker in their own right in the present day. And that is Chef romance. He has crafted this one of a kind experience in the Tallahassee area. And it’s a place where you can go and get away and be with the person or the people that you love. And just get away from it all. We’re going to talk a bar about it after the break. February may be the shortest month of the year, but boy is it jam packed with events. You have Valentine’s Day, the Super Bowl, Black History Month. And all of these great holidays required great food. And that’s where Instacart comes into play. Whether is ingredients for your Mary’s mac and cheese or everything you need to make your famous Rotel dip for the game Instacart has you covered and I have a very special offer today. For those of you listening, free delivery for your first Instacart order over $35 Best Free delivery, click the link in my show notes or visit my website www dot the flaky To take advantage of this very special discount

Hello, and welcome back Today we have Demetrius Murray, also known as Chef romance and he has crafted one of a kind date night experience for the Tallahassee area. We’re going to find out more about that in just a minute. But first of all, Tanisha is welcome to the show.

Chef Romance 12:47
So this is beautiful.

Jess 12:51
Oh, it’s good to have you. So we’re gonna find out more about tell us a date night and what’s it all about? Also, hopefully found out a little bit more about you chef romance. I love that. I love that name. By the way, how did you how did you become chef romance?

Chef Romance 13:07
Yeah, I’m big on experiences. Yes, is like really, really big. And I know, it’s may sound cliche these days, you know, but it’s experiences really dear to my, my soul really, because of just what life is, you know, life is just one huge experience. And in the, in this mix of experiences in life, I wanted to create an experience that was just somewhat of a break, you know, to everything that’s going on, and an experience that highlights what I what I come to, to call lucky love, I believe love is on what luck. And I’ll get into that and you know, later on, but uh, just creating this romantic experience, I wanted the name to, you know, every part every single part from the time you you know, type in, you know, tallassee date night to when you are, you know, walking to your car after everything, you know, every single step to be inexperienced. And I thought the name was was something cool. You know, that was really like a Disney story behind it. But just you know, it’s a romantic setting. And I thought chef romance was fitting for for you know, for for what you experienced at tallassee date night.

Jess 14:34
That is awesome. And how did this come to be? How did you get the idea?

Chef Romance 14:40
So the idea can so I used when I was single? I would I love date, you know, I love dating, or I loved dating at least and I still do baby my lady now we you know and that’s I think a partner relationships that is shouldn’t be forgotten, you know, you gotta keep to keep

Jess 15:03
the fire alive.

Chef Romance 15:06
Yes. So, with that being said, you know, I would, I would go out on dates. And it was it didn’t have to be any, any event, anything serious between, you know, the me and the young lady. But when when I did go out of it, because I understand people, people would come and go in life, you know, you cross paths with people, and for whatever reason, you know, that the universe has has brought you together. And that time isn’t forever, you know, as we know, right? I’m pretty sure you can think back on people that you, you know, that you dated, or even even haven’t dated, but just people you’ve encountered that, that you just don’t talk to anymore. You know, what the reason is good or bad, you just just don’t talk to him, you know, but if you cross paths will pass with those people. So I wanted, I wanted my interaction with the young ladies that I that I crossed paths with, and were me being lucky enough to in a more intimate setting with them. I knew that, hey, I know I’m not going to be in this lady’s life forever, right? Maybe I don’t know that. But it’s a possibility I will this, this may just be a pass through encounter. So I wanted to, I wanted to make sure that, that I could be that stamp in their mind, even though I won’t be there forever. I wanted the memory to be there forever. He got to kind of, and so I would, I would take to admin how the idea came about I would, there’s this little scenic route that I created it in downtown, it starts at Harry’s, and then it loops around this downtown. And we were out when I would take them on a day we would it would start at Harry’s there’s just like little you know, secret little amphitheater that’s kind of like, you know, that, that looks down under Harry’s and we will start there and they will walk and then the date would in the date would end at what where is it right at the city hall, there’s this little alley that goes the back. And right in the back of the alley versus beautiful waterfowl in a nice little bitch and you know, it’s it’s in, you know, you can see the stars really nice in that area. And the date was in there. And I always said Man, it would be super cool if this whole little scenic walk could end with like a dinner, dinner in a movie. And then there’s this there’s this white wall, brick wall back there where you know, you could it’s almost set up to where you could shine a projector on though it’s like a square somebody painted out as a square on this brick wall. Like, as we’re sitting on the bench, like next to the word accounting, we’re sitting facing this square, this white square that will for whatever reason, someone painted on the wall. And I always said it’d be so cool. I could set a little projector up and shine a little movie on here and have a little chef back here cooking. I thought that would be so nice now but but the date was an experience that I know those women would never forget even though we don’t talk anymore, but yes, so I set out to make that experience in actual thing. So

Jess 18:29
UK from how to orchestrating the day and thinking about hey, I would like a chef to be here to being the chef. So yeah, so tell me how that happened. How did you end up getting into food and getting into cooking?

Chef Romance 18:46
You know, a funny thing i I never I never cooked up into me This is maybe maybe two two years ago 29 And up to two years ago I never cooked and I was the the journey that evolved into a process as like the vision became clear of creating tallassee date night I would so yeah, so i i Still I started out by making that area with the water fountain and all that good stuff. I started out by making that area into a you know kind of structuring it you know, or trying to put at structure to whatever is and I saw I got I bought like a little propane grill like a little stove top one and I tried to make it as nice as I could. And I hired people who could cook I hire like little you know those chefs and stuff. And so the dates would would eventually would in with you know the little chef would be in the back and I had the candles laid out as as best as I could But it was this is so expensive to to hire these people they’re just like they pay out maybe like and this is just like a rent a random date when it goes like hey, let’s go out on a date take me on a date and instead of going to the restaurants or whatever I will hire somebody who could actually really cook I mean but these people like to hunt you know 150 $200 Just to pull this data off with someone I don’t even know how far this is gonna go but like I said I wanted that memory to last forever why so how I got into cooking was I just got tired of paying 250 $200

Jess 20:40
Laying in some pots and pans myself

Chef Romance 20:43
so go Mind you I never cooked never like I would I mean I was just so basic with with cooking I mean I don’t even know if I could call it cook it was more just like you know reheating more than you know cooking for real.

Jess 20:57
You are afraid Oh God Oh, that’s like the standard

Chef Romance 21:02
Yeah. Yeah, for people who can’t cook yakka boys and pasta doesn’t Alfredo. Yeah, you know, but that’s about it though. But yeah, so I went to I got to trade I just went to just went to school, you know, whatever type of learning apprenticeship, you know, trade, school, college, whatever, whatever. You know, when you dive into these into your, your purpose, what is already in you, you know how to do but it’s popular to say that everybody was born with the gift and I know it’s it is hard to find that that gift you know, it is difficult because it’s there’s so much fear that that blocks you from from just planting the seeds so that you can you know grow and you know and that for that gift to be revealed to you but it’s it had I not and there was a lot that I was it was a lot of sacrifice I had to make you know and most of those dates to hire the chefs and to go forward with the process many rainy days just to just to set that little date up you know, I think back on it, it was so much to do just to set that up but to get through all of that you know just to get to the point of going to school and to realize that man I had this gift of cooking in me and I really like to say to you because there are some amazing chefs out here that I’m nowhere nowhere near like you know, on their level as far as like being able to cook but you know you’re not gonna hang in there with the maybe with the best of them but yeah, that’s how I that’s how I started cooking just you know was tired of paying that you know tired of like outsourcing it and but when I look within myself the whole time I could cook the whole time like I thought it was funny and I look back on it but yeah, that’s how that’s how I started.

Jess 22:57
It is amazing how every other pieces fell into place. You know you figure it out. You are very good at throwing dates, and then you’re that kind of lead into your profession of actually cooking so that is amazing. That is an amazing backstory and I absolutely love it. So what I have a question for his people who don’t know how Tallahassee date night actually works, what happens you know you and your date thinks hey you know I want to surprise my lady and surprise my man I want to surprise my girlfriends but something special. Then they find you they find your site what comes next.

Chef Romance 23:35
So when you find the site, you know I’m still trying to figure out you know how people are are finding it but whenever they do find it however, what happens is this the website is is user friendly, and it’s fully you can customize your date just you know right on the site so when it when you do or tallassee Date Night comm you know, you would select which type of date you want. We have a dinner and a movie date and then just a movie date if you just want to come out or watch a movie, sometimes people like to bring their own food, you know, you can do that as well. That’s cool. So you select which date you want. And we also have a crew love as well which is more fitting for family and friends. So if you want to come out with a group, so they’re in a movie, just a movie, then there’s a cooler once you decide whichever date that you you know you want to do it you pretty much just funnel it funnels through to the rest of the process. We’re just customizing everything. You know from the Fuji one we have a pretty mix me you get one entree you get a couple of sides. You want three sides, you can get three sides, but this isn’t like a restaurant sized portion of food. This is like a hefty, you know, this is fitting for a king and a queen type. Okay? So yeah, so you select whatever food you want the drinks are unlimited. Whatever terms you choose, those drinks will be served on night. We have a in house pastry chef with Magic Touch treats, and they make whatever personal size serving of whatever your favorite dessert is from peach cobblers, Strawberry Shortcake cheesecake, whatever it is that you want. Oh,

Jess 25:27
okay, see I did I didn’t know this part of it.

Chef Romance 25:31
Yeah, great, that will

Jess 25:33
make my ears perk up I love I have a huge sweet tooth

Chef Romance 25:37
is gonna make you wherever you want to customize whatever, personal size serving dessert. Um, and then the next part of the resume this is all a part of the reservation so everything is like I said, it’s streamlined. So once you fill that out the other information you would be cut the more customizable things are I guess the more personal things are personal customized things are we have a rose box that you can customize for your date. Where it’s a it’s a two foot like oversized like actual rose box that we could bust down if you want to bust down we can engrave your name engraved your date name on the rose box so you not use this not just a regular rose that you give it to your tea date. This is like a customized rose. Very very nice. Then there’s also a a date night ticket that that like an actual movie ticket that we create that we deliver to your date. Oh so yeah, so when you when you booked the date there’s a custom ticket that we deliver to your date whether they’re there on the job they at the house wherever they deliver this ticket to them and it says you’re invited to a date night get ready there’s a time the date and everything on the to like an actual movie ticket so yeah, we did that we customized the ticket for you and yeah, that’s pretty much it so after the after your date get we delivered the ticket the movie ticket Yeah, so when y’all show up everything is we have a golden sign that has you know welcome a welcome sign that has your your days name on it. There’s a red carpet that short walk down like a Cinderella long 50 foot long red carpet you walk down and roses all the way down to carpet candles stretched out crazy and it leads up to the hour where the the whole date takes place it’s a private garden that’s right downtown in the French town proud to say in the press town area. Yes. The Husky historic print you know you got to put that do you

Jess 27:57
I mean…like the Illustrious Florida A&M University

Chef Romance 28:04
Yeah, so there’s the historic first town area where there’s a gated private garden that there’s a you park you know there’s a special park that’s right in front of the the garden come down to this this driveway is right in front of the garden and then you walk down to like I say you walk down the red carpet the red carpet leads to the the the theater where the plush sofa I mean we got heating a lot of people you know Acts about the weather. We have a you know there are these we have a heating system that’s we have these heated heated sofas and a heating system there is out there there’s a bonfire that sits right there in front of you. Yeah, you just walk into this fairytale setting and whereas you know you got a you got your girl’s favorite song plan in the we have surround sound and in fact actual theater speakers when you walk into her favorite song plan, you know Yeah, you know, I mean it just it takes a breath away for it you know a heartbeat and

Jess 29:11
and a complete experience

Chef Romance 29:14
guys right you know every time it happens it doesn’t get old you know to me at least just to see that either the tears fall that that that you know genuine smile most times it’s a surprise for you know the date whoever the date is and you know they have no idea what where they are standing around like where are we? And they’re just like all of this for me like oh my god and they get on FaceTime and call on a phrase girl you know I don’t even know what we Egret it’s so nice and just to see you know, see that it’s priceless. Yeah, so that’s that’s a somewhat of a nutshell of what what happens when you find Tallahassee date night, you really walk into this fairy tale is what happens when you find it.

Jess 30:14
Not just a transformative experience, but it transports you to another place in time.

Chef Romance 30:23
Yes, you know,

Jess 30:25
you’re dealing with everything that’s going on right now. Instead of calling the pandemic, I was called the Panini. So when you deal with the Panini, and all the stress and all the pressure, and I’m a mom, especially as a mom, so having an experience like this takes you away for however long, whether it’s an hour or so that’s such a blessing of an experience. Yeah. Oh, man, I just want to thank you for the work that you’re doing. Does that sounds absolutely amazing. So by now, you said it never gets old when you see a day come? And they see this whole experience laid out for them? What are some of your favorite moments to where you seen, just the atmosphere and the food just kind of bring people together?

Chef Romance 31:11
And there’s so many I will be wrong if I was to just highlight one or even a few. But I mean, just to answer the question, though, I mean, it really is one of those. One of those things where every moment, I have to say is my favorite, favorite moment, because it’s every every guest is different, you know, in, in their, in their happiness, they express their excitement, so you uniquely, you know, and I guess nobody ever does it the same so that that’s what you know, makes makes everything different. It’s never just like, you know how it is at a regular restaurant. I was like, Welcome to Red Lobster is that you just sit kind of sit down and you just look at the menu. And I’ll be back with Can I get you guys some water starts you off with some water. You know, it’s never just like this, this franchise thing. Everything is every every moment is so different. Oh, there has been I guess some of the special moments have been we’ve had a couple people propose. And those proposals had you know, it’s been three proposals and each one has has been Oh, well over the top what’s made I guess my favorite memories, moments, the proposals there’s been a man there’s been times I can remember where, you know, couples will come out and they were really filled. I mean, they were really you would think we were in like Atlanta, or you know, in this Metro college and city like there’s been people who, whose came from out of town. There’s a people came from Atlanta. I’ve had I had a couple of guests who came from Atlanta to come here just for this man. You know, I’m thinking about it

Jess 33:04
as a while because you know, I still think of Tallahassee is painless small sleepy town so to bring something that the big city Hotlanta wants to come to you know, they used to give yourself a huge pat on the back for that alone

Chef Romance 33:21
man you know God that God is Great man just to be able to to experience this experience these moments you know, I mean, the memories could go on and on I just have a bucket list of memories that we got to talk about for hours may have a few proposals to the times when you know people when they come and they just I mean they just haven’t cuz like I said the drinks are unlimited. So after about three, four, I mean people are just like, yeah, it’s great. You know, you know they they get to talk in and you know, just clown and you know, just with each other and to see him how they just you know, what was my favorite part about every everyday night is the there’s a part we have caught the Memory Lane slide my favorite memory. Favorite memory is the memory lane slideshow that happens everyday. Most date nights at least but what the Memory Lane slideshow is at the end of the movie instead of the credits playing at the end of the movie, there is a slideshow that that place it just pops up and the it’s it’s a complete surprise to one of the you know that to the date and it’s set up from the one who’s booking the date night when they when they said no date when they reserved the date night they you know send as many photos as you the more pictures the better. So they sent a tons of photos of their favorite moments and memories with their partner throughout the years. The Goofy pictures the You know, the sentimental pitches and you know the other candidate off off guard pitches all of that they send that and they attach their dates favorite songs to the to the slideshow, and this size will just pops up. It’s the last thing you expect. And I mean war. I mean, there’s the waterworks, that kind of happens, you know, like, oh my gosh, you know, because it comes out of nowhere. And just to see how they, they’re talking about, oh, there’s that watch. All right, a dirt bike. Oh, there’s no water, you just, you know, it just to hear and just talk about all these moments that they had together in it. I mean, these some of these classes are like 60 120 You know, photos and all you know, is just to see them does reflect being I mean, truly gone memory lane. And in reflect back all the moments, that cuz it’s hard that they had their relationships, some of these people, you know, come out and you got the many married couples come out, but you have your, you know, people you know, who are just just dating, who’ve been dating for, you know, three or four years, and they’ve collected so many, you know, pictures throughout years. And yes, and just the process of the date digging up these old photos for when he was in high school, you know, you know it up until up until you know, the current pay, you know, you just you just see them, you see that to see their relationship to see their relationship evolve. And as I’m stepping and in the background, watching them watch themselves. Oh my God, it is an amazing, amazing moment. Yes, so that’s one of my favorite memories of tallassee date night, watching the memories, watching the moments of the dates. Memories.

Jess 36:53
So, so far, you’ve mentioned a lot that goes in the process of creating this one, this one date, you know, you have the size that a customized with the names you have. I don’t think we mentioned this before, but don’t you have like a red carpet experience, too?

Chef Romance 37:08
Yep. Yeah, we take pictures on a red carpet.

Jess 37:11
Yes, red carpet, you have slideshows, you have custom desserts, you have custom music that you add? And how big is your team? That pulls this off? Is it just you chef Romans wearing all these hats?

Chef Romance 37:25
So look, you know, I hate saying just the I hate that because it’s just, it just sounds so. Just, I just never like like, you know, it sounds self centered, is what it is. But it’s it, you know, I say I use the term we a lot it you know, and when I say we it’s me a guy. And I’m not even saying that, but they just need like, it really takes the strength, you know, of my, you know, source outside of my physical capability to be able to pull this off. You know, it’s so in there, you know, thank God for good friends, I have, you know, some amazing friends that come and you know, help out whenever they can, you know, especially in the times when it’s just when it’s tight, you know, we do, too. So we have two reservations a night 730 to 930. And then the other reservation is from 1030 until 1230. And words today actually we’re about to open up another time, an earlier time. So we’ll have three reservations in one night but and I’ve been blessed with a man just some good, you know, good friends in my life. And an amazing woman who stands beside me and she helps out and in an incredible way. You know, I’m I don’t know why I’m getting emotional right now thinking about her but man, she’s, she’s a huge, huge help. And in a difference, you know, he sees a difference he is the factor of of why of the of the success in these date nights. Because as as your you know, noticing it is it’s a it’s so much detail to pull these dates are that somebody you know, just there’s so many reasons why people people book these days nights from anniversaries or birthdays to just because just sometimes people you know want to make an apology. You know, but we think of something as sensitive as somebody 15 year and I don’t care how many years this somebody’s anniversary. That is a very sensitive The date the day for someone, he can’t mess it up. It’s almost like surgery. This cannot go wrong, you know? Like, everything has to go perfect period. He knows it’s my anniversary right now. And my woman, I mean, you know, she has made she has played a man in it had it not been for her. You know, just dealing with not franticness you know, because I can be all over. All over the place when it comes to these date nights trying to make sure every rose petal is perfectly laid out every candle is lit. Everything is just, you know, smooth, you know? Man and she’s just she is just every every the definition of there if there was a person it would be her because she is there she is the person who is there to make this thing happen along with my brothers. You know, I’ve been blessed with some breeze every time I opened up a you know, a bio Shinpei man I say thank God for good for that’s not something that a lot of a lot of young brothers young black men out here can see. Yeah, they have. They have good greens. You feel me just not a lot of black men can say that today, man and not a

Jess 41:22
lot of people, people period. As you’re approaching that 32 Personally, right right now, yes.

Chef Romance 41:32
How many of us can say man, we got a phrase for real? You know, and then yeah, so yes, it’s, they step in when they can. And and, uh, I mean, not even when they came in, man, I got that love and loyalty from, you know, my friends, we, you know, we, we just so tighten up, pick up, pick up the phone. And I mean, we got got, you know, one of my guys he lives in Quincy, and in a heartbeat man just got married kids, man, he’ll drop, he’ll drop in, you know, he’ll drop it in a heartbeat, and come over, you know, coming to town and help out. You know, I mean, that that, I mean, I’m just lucky to have that man to be able to pull this off and I’m in a position or trying to get things in a position and structure more tighter, to be able to help hire and recruit, you know, as people are interested in working with, you know, with me with us, you know, to have an actual more, you know, structured team and a higher team, you know, so that that’s coming hopefully, hopefully hopefully sooner than later but yeah,

Jess 42:45
that’s amazing that you have such a great background to pull it off and I’m, I’m excited to see where you all grow. One thing I wanted to know is a little bit more about the dishes that are on your menu. Does it change seasonally? Is it something that’s always there? What’s what’s the most popular

Chef Romance 43:05
oh so the menu we have seven entrees. And it was this is only only been we started in August. Having made it through all the seasons to be able to say we change seasonally but I but it is you know it just seems like I’ve just started out so I haven’t made too many changes. But the most popular we are we do from time to time do custom orders you know so there are people who want oysters or you know, some type of seafood boil or wherever the case is that that you know will pull out and but the but the most popular is pan seared steak in our honey bourbon salad is the most popular dish. There. We also have prime filets grilled lamb chops, colossal shrimp and loaded mashed potatoes that’s probably neck and neck with the steak in in this in the salad and this isn’t like a you know a shrimp size. You know small like I said a corporate size steak. I mean this is like the these are thick, you know premium Angus steaks you know in like your your your big fillet cut up salmonid and everything is to a premium cut but yeah most populous would say will be the steak and honey and honey Birdman salad.

Jess 44:40
So it’s no Frou Frou just you know you’re just here to eat a little cute this is you got to get a full stomach.

Chef Romance 44:46
Oh girl, we talked about this stuff this season for this season season. Premium meat you know when you get that plate and you if you can make it through then you you The one you can get throw down some food, you can have some food as I say, bless. Like I said to have, you know, great, great people, you know, behind beside me to be able to pull these dishes are, you know, consistent consistently is the artist part, you know, they keep making that statement, you know, juicy buttery. Well you need you know, steak sauce, you don’t even need a steak knife to cut the steak type of type of steak. You know, it takes it takes a lot to pull that off consistent.

Jess 45:33
We said you started in August of 2021.

Chef Romance 45:37
On this one is anyone

Jess 45:39
so how does it feel to be entrepreneur in this kind of new type of business? Have you ever worked a position in like a traditional restaurant?

Chef Romance 45:47
I haven’t, I haven’t cooked No, in any restaurant, right? It was just straight from from the book to cook. It wasn’t like I had, you know, 13 years of restaurant experience anything you know, like that is just straight to it.

Jess 46:02
So you you trade pretty much in culinary for a purpose. You know, you have this you have this idea in culinary school? Is that the whole purpose of kind of continuing your education there? Or did it just kind of come to you like after culinary school that you know what I should do, you know, date night experiences?

Chef Romance 46:23
Well, so this was so the schooling came after the idea is not to say, you know, when you get an idea, you need to go to school, but school is any type of learning any type of learning, like I said, whether it’s a, an apprenticeship or is YouTube University, wherever you get your, you know, your knowledge from, you know, definitely, you know, become an expert, you know, in the, in the idea as you’re pursuing. I think they both have to, you know, you learned me and maybe I speak for myself, but I learned best as I’m, as I go, you know, I learned from the for the failures, I embrace the failures failed a lot. I mean, I filled out a lot, a lot. I mean, it was maybe over 50 attempts of trying to, you know, build a build what you see, you know, it took a lot. And not even just, it wasn’t even, like the amount was a lot, as much as just a circumstance was a lot like, you know, you think about lugging this this you know, at first I started out with just a pop up tent, you know, and I try to try to put this stuff in my car this huge plus this sofa in my car, having to pack it up, unpack it in the cold is raining sometimes I got to figure out, like when I say circumstances, just like those circumstances, I will how I’m gonna do it today is raining. These people have already paid me money how I’m gonna do this is like that, or, you know, but but the idea came, it was just the cooking came. The cooking came? Yes. Oh, no, like deep cooking experience. It came after I was paying those cooks in the beginning. Yeah, I was just like, man, let me just jump in, let me just go ahead and just learn how to do it. I’m gonna keep his his guy, well, I’m not saying I’m, I’m not going to keep paying, I would love to pay somebody $200 You know, to cook, I would love to be able to afford to be able to pay, pay a chef that, you know, that is the goal, you know, to hire a high crash ship, you know, that, that I can’t pay that amount of money to but at the time, it you know, I just wasn’t able to continue to afford it to be able to make it a real business. You know, I had to I had to learn how to do it so that I could take those funds and leverage out my, my finances, I didn’t just go to the bank and get a loan or any of this I had to get to get all this off the muscle, you know, so, but but the cooking came after the idea. The classes came after the idea, but it was straight from the books like I said from the books to just cook. Would you

Jess 49:12
consider yourself a romantic after crafting all of these very romantic atmospheres and experiences? Or do you feel that Chef romance has made you more romantic or less romantic?

Chef Romance 49:26
Here’s a trade off with doing you know being in this high frequency of romance, you know, it’s the trade off is my girl has epic energy because I’m actually in a relationship, you know, that she’s she’s seen it so many times she’s in it, you know, it’s so it doesn’t, you know to her and she’s I mean to me that it doesn’t get over to me because it’s you know, it’s I’m just so passionate about It you know, expect me to do this as soon as we get tired of shining you know? It’s it you know there’s the bird ever gets out of flying. You know Zanda swim ever gets the fish ever get tired of swimming does it ever get old? Swimming? It’s just getting old.

Jess 50:16
It’s your purpose, though. Yeah, it’s

Chef Romance 50:18
not it doesn’t get old to me. But it I have to be I have to be more used more ingenuity. It could be even more even though the date night is already like extremely creative. I have to be even more so creative in the support, she appreciates the more incalculable things like my time, you know, I’m saying when once in the beginning to relationship it was it was the flowers and a fancy dates and stuff like that. That was that was the thing, but now it’s because I’m, I’m so busy. He you know, are productive, like super productive, but but busy. You know, I’ve just my time my time is very tight and occupied. That that more romantic when I when I say babe, I’ve cleared my schedule. Yeah. She’s like, Oh, my God, you’re so you know, she appreciates that so freaking much, man. I can’t even and all those. It’s a sacrifice. You know, it’s a lot it is a lot man to, to clear that schedule, man. But it means so much to her that the smaller things are even more appreciative because I do so. I go so hard, you know, it’s just too it’s so much man, you know, to, to pull these things off. You know, she appreciates any small thing. It means it means so much to her. But yeah, I would say maybe maybe more romance more creative than then romantic. But the romance is in. I think it’s the romance is in the intention, you know, if you kind of fallen in front of it was following what I’m saying it’s not really in the, the what I’m doing necessarily, like I got, you know, the heart shaped rose petals laid out and candles all throughout the house, anything like that, but it’s that is romantic, that is very romantic. The perspective of it is different, like I say once I still get her flowers all the time, but like the the traditional romantic things that that that that are, you know, perceived as, as romantic today. It’s not it’s less of that. But it’s more of the simpler things. Which is, which is, you know, which for whatever reason means more to her than what the, you know, the fancy stuff that I was doing in the beginning the relationship. It’s kind of interesting how those things kind of flipped, but yeah, okay,

Jess 52:59
so we’ve talked a lot about you and your business and even your relationships. Now, we want to do a few little light icebreakers. Just a few quick questions. What’s something that you love to eat,

Chef Romance 53:15
man, you know, this is gonna sound so crazy, but I love turkey sandwiches. I love sandwiches. I’m just really big on sandwiches. So a really good club sandwich. I love a club sandwich. More specifically, Turkey club sandwich is what I can eat. Probably like, seven days a week.

Jess 53:35
Okay, would you rather get or eat a box of chocolate or Shaku to

Chef Romance 53:39
reward boxes? Chocolate? Snickers Yeah, I like I like, I love Snickers. I mean, I’m a huge fan of Snickers. But yeah,

Jess 53:47
so we’ve talked a lot about what you do for your significant other for other people. What’s something that you personally by romantic?

Chef Romance 53:56
And I will say a walk this is going to sound so maybe so not romantic? But it’s so basic, but it’s only because I’m a huge, you know, conversation. I love deep conversations that are the more insightful than more insightful than deep. I love learning. I love talking. I love talking to people who know things that I don’t know, or know more than more than I know. Say do sexual. I think that’s what they call it.

Jess 54:24
Yeah. It’s to knowledge and intellect and other people.

Chef Romance 54:28
Yeah, yeah. So I love what I found Gromit. What I personally found romantic is just a classic walk in the park. You know,

Jess 54:38
I mean, that’s that’s romantic Jill Scott saying a whole song about it. That’s romantic.

Chef Romance 54:45
No, no. I like to give you a good training. You know, you’d get you get a bottle of wine. And let’s just go walk in a park and it’s teach me learn learn me something you know Tell me what you would tell me what you learned. Tell me tell me what you know. You know, tell me what you know now what you think. I want to hear what you know. Yeah, so that’s what message

what’s your favorite love song? Like if you were going to your own date night experience and they play this over and I had to have that song playing. Yes. That’s so so cool man. Uh No so I was saying that oh that a scream sweet lady version be my light ray he just call me see Allah that sweet lady

Jess 55:58
with the vocals I’m sorry ladies listening to this show he is.

Chef Romance 56:07
I like as my Jana. No, that’s Well, yeah.

Jess 56:18
So what would you want for Valentine’s Day,

Chef Romance 56:21
you know, what would be a cool Valentine’s Day give some seeds to grow a rolls?

Jess 56:30
Really, that is a that is a very different reaction than I was expecting. But that’s, that’s awesome. Are you a gardener by chance.

Chef Romance 56:40
I’m not a gardener, but I love the the few times in life that I’ve had a chance to, to plant a seed and just like nurture it and see it grow. Man, it’s been a beautiful experience, you know, because you got to attend to it, you can’t forget about it, you understand, you can’t, you can’t. And that see it just it is the process of planting a seed and growing and seed is transferable to just every part of life, you know, my day where I have to remind myself to take the time out and water the seed, seed, you know, as metaphor to my relationship. You know, I can’t forget, let me let me call her, you know, my, my parent, my grandparents, let me let me take the time to go attend to them and check on them. Make sure they good, you know, my business. Let me let me you know, let me make sure I got this in the you know, in the right light. And you know how you gotta you got to put the See, gotta put the plant by the by the light, you know, and make sure you you open up the blinds, I did everything that I needed to do to set it up, make sure it can grow, it’s in the right position to grow, you know that you’re freaking out over there. That’s the planning is such a such a dope, I encourage everyone in a relationship to do that. That’s why I will I will want that I may need to hint around to that. But it’s a it’s a nice thing to do in a relationship because it gives your it’s almost kind of like the whole thing, the idea of buying like a pet together. You know, I guess whatever that’s supposed to do like you both have the equal responsibility to do something together. You know, but that see planning is like a it can be a powerful experience in a relationship.

Jess 58:32
Awesome. So if you had to choose between a love letter, a text or a call, which one would you choose?

Chef Romance 58:39
Texting, texting, I love those long text message. I actually read a text message on top of my encyclopedia and text message. So you don’t just respond with the K. Read though, right, right. Oh I love messages, it because it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of work as long text message, you know a sound that you get sleep or the love letter to another so you know, I like that because you know that the reading the text messages is it especially in today’s world, you know, time you can put so much emphasis with all caps. You know the emojis and you know, just feel it. You know, I feel it more with a text message. But I would appreciate either one. Like if I could choose one it’d be a takes takes me that long message.

Jess 59:43
Okay, so if you had to choose between a romantic breakfast or a man say lunch or romantic dinner, which one would you choose?

Chef Romance 59:51
Oh, lunch. Once you know a Roma turkey sandwich for

Jess 59:55
the club sandwich

Chef Romance 59:59
you know it’s funny Sexy you know, my girl, she bought me a sandwich the other day to, to. I was I was just, you know, getting things set up in the middle just working. And she just popped up on me with a sandwich man and a man it was it was nice. But yeah, you know, I don’t take the time to eat lunch, which is why I would say a romantic lunch. You know, it’s not something that I do every day. I don’t need to eat, I will say, I guess it just eating in the morning is considered breakfast, whether you’re eating the traditional breakfast food, you know, or not, you know, I don’t eat breakfast, you know. But then again, I don’t get the time to eat lunch because I’ll be overworking. So, you know, really pushing throughout the day. But I do take the time to eat, you know, at night. Thankfully, you know, blessed to be able to, you know, have that home because that didn’t. But yeah, I would choose a romantic much romantic nights will be really sexy. Okay,

Jess 1:00:57
and if there is a guy or a girl who’s listening in today, and they can’t make it to the Tallahassee date night experience, but they want to do something special for their significant other. What will your advice be to them?

Chef Romance 1:01:11
Oh, so we have a URL, that rose box that I mentioned earlier, where you could get it customized, and we actually deliver it to your significant other, you know, whether it’s on the job, wherever they are, we’ll deliver it so it’s kind of like an edible arrangement. How they just kind of surprise you with it. But you know, you customize this, you get a rose, and you get a customized and it comes with that love letter. Interesting thing early enough that you you mentioned earlier, so it comes with a rose and comes with a nice love letter. And yeah, we surprised your significant other with it wherever she is. It’s it’s a pretty dope experience. He just even that itself, but I mean, that would be one thing. I think that was kind of like a little shameless plug i that do it. But it is it is really nice, though. That’s one bias. Liam saying that. And then I guess another thing is, man, there is nothing the most invaluable, but valuable thing, incalculable valuable thing in life is time. I can’t put enough emphasis on that time. If you can’t, if you can’t make it to the date night. Well, I guess, you know, for whatever reason, you know, just taking the time out of whatever you’re doing, to give to your significant other because you can’t get get that back man approaching 30 We hear that we have heard that so much in my in, I’m still a young man, but in my you know, adolescence, you know, vs my teenage years, you know, you hear that, you know, you can’t get time back can’t get time back. But approaching 30 is like a you, you really can’t get time back looking at my grandpa grip. grandparents had as they, you know, beautifully aged in love. It’s like man, you know, you really, it’s really just going to keep going like it’s just, it’s gonna keep going like we ain’t gonna get no younger for real for real. But given that time, and you know, it’s probably the most expensive thing that’s probably time is probably the most expensive gift that you can give your significant other if you can’t make it Italian, tell us the date night, which just represents what the talented date night represent is taking time out. That’s it to do so just taking time out period. If you can’t take the time out to come to the date night, just do take the time out and give it to your significant other and whatever way. Whatever we just get to this show. Even if we just do just show up. I’m just here with you. It doesn’t mean you right now EJ here, you know given that time is probably the most expensive gift that you could give them anyways. It’s beautiful.

Jess 1:03:59
It’s so true. Now people can make it to Tallahassee deck now where can they find you online?

Chef Romance 1:04:06
They can find us tell us the date night calm Tallahassee date night on Instagram Tallahassee date night on on Facebook. Literally if you just type in tallassee date night or just on Google all those platforms that pull up first being the website and following followed by the social media outlets which is challenging date night.

Jess 1:04:28
Yes, thank you so much Chef Romance for agreeing to be a part of the show and I really enjoyed learning more about Tallahassee date night. Now you listeners if you want to keep up with this Black History Month series that runs throughout the month of February. Every Wednesday, we’ll talk about a foodpioneer and a modern day Trailblazer. Make sure you visit my website or if you’re there already WWW dot the flaky Click on that subscribe link. Get on my mailing list, and you’ll always know when new episodes drop. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you so much for being here and have a great week.

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