NativeAdVice & NativeAdVantage
Search

NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?


Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur

 

Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of LittleThings.com

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of Edmunds.com

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of Reputation.com

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

Friday
Apr172015

Rocky Cirino: Managing Director of The Altamarea Group

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Rocky Cirino is a senior leader at the Altamarea Group, with management responsibility for Ai Fiori, Marea, Ristorante Morini, and Campagna and The Barn at The Bedford Post Inn. Prior to his expanded responsibility as Managing Director for the Altamarea Group’s fine dining properties, Rocky served as the General Manager at Marea, in charge of creating the special ambiance and excellent service that accompanies Chef White’s coastal Italian cuisine.

How did you get into the culinary industry?

At 16, my father fired me from his machine shop and I had a car payment.  So I started washing dishes.

Tell us about Altamarea Group. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

Ahmass Fakahany always had a passion for the restaurant business and when he met Michael White he found they shared similar values and goals.  I would say at this point, the goal is to create a strong global brand with clearly defined concepts that all share the same focus of service and cuisine.

(Ai Fiori, Photo Credit: Evan Sung)

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Altamarea Group's success?

We’ve forged relationships with top shelf purveyors that have ensured a quality product enters our restaurants, while seeking out young hospitality professionals that we can nurture so they may lead this company to a bright future.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

There have been many trends that have come and gone over the years but I do believe the casual style of dining will stay as well as the increased focus on vegetable centric dishes.

(Ai Fiori - Tagliatelle, Photo Credit: Anthony Jackson)

Life Motto?

Kharma is merely the unexpected result of being good to people in the past.

Altamarea Group's Motto?

Inspired Cuisine, Elevated Hospitality

(Ai Fiori - Trofie Nero, Photo Credit: Evan Sung)

Your greatest success as Managing Director of Altamarea Group? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

Marea’s opening and first three years were incredibly challenging while very rewarding at the same time.  As for difficult moments, I was was once passed over for a manager position at a previous job.  I had to do a brutal assessment of why and what to do to rectify the issue.   Real honesty, with yourself and with others is incredibly important.  It saves time and builds a stronger foundation with your team.  How one goes about that without hurting feelings is the true skill.

Your advice to an aspiring restauranteur?

The entire industry is founded on the desire to make people happy.  If you don’t enjoy making people happy, and figuring out how to do that with a variety of different circumstances every day, this business is not for you.  If this applies, then just remember to view every situation through that prism.  How can I make this moment special for this person?

(Campagna, Photo Credit: Anthony Jackson)

Describe the ideal experience at one of AltaMarea Group's venues.

Recently I watched the Duke vs Michigan State on the big screen at Nicoletta while joking with Sandy, the manager, who used to work for me at Marea.  The food was sublime and Sandy is lovely.

How important are architecture/design to the success of your restaurants?

Ambiance, service and food.  There is a reason it’s one of the three Zagat measures restaurants by.  If you have great food and great service but the space is without charm or does not make people feel good in it, you’re finished.

(Campagna - Filetto, Photo Credit: Anthony Jackson)

How do you motivate your employees?

I try to lead by example, every day.  This means engaging with guests in an honest and meaningful way. This means clearing tables when I’m on the floor, pulling chairs for returning guests, taking orders if need be.  I answer the phone as much as possible so I can demonstrate my tone and temperament with guests while getting a better understanding of the client wants.   When you’re staff sees you there, doing it with them it fosters trust and respect.  Meanwhile you can joke with them, rely on them, point things out to them.  You get closer as a team.  From there you can do anything.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

The Taglioni with manilla clams, calamari and Calabrian chili at Marea.  That dish once contributed 15lbs to my taut physique before I found self control.  To drink, white burgundy, preferably from LaFlaive will do.

(Costata Tavern, Photo Credit: Anthony Jackson)

What literature is on your bed stand?

Rereading the short stories of John Cheever.  After reverse commuting to our restaurants at the Bedford Post Inn for the past few months, the 1940’s commuter train vibe is getting infectious.

Role model - business and personal?

I’ve tried to take a bit of something from everyone I’ve worked with whether it may be what they did well or what they didn’t do so well.  It’s important to put yourself in others shoes while they make decisions, learn through their triumphs and mistakes.  If you are paying attention with a clear and honest eye (and not the schadenfreude lens many in our industry indulge in) you can learn many cheap lessons that save you pain in the future while making you better in the process.  No one is infallible and the role models that people deify are as flawed as we are. 

(Marea, Photo Credit: Noah Fecks)

Current passion?

Being Managing Director for the Altamarea Group.

Favorite travel destination?

Ohio to visit my family

(Marea - Astice, Photo Credit: Noah Fecks)

What's next for AltaMarea Group?

Our restaurant on 63rd and Park Ave. It's a big investment of time and money but it offers real promise in terms of adding something great to our portfolio and to NYC in general. In addition, the success of our second Nicoletta in New Jersey suggests that brands replication has legs.

http://altamareagroup.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Altamarea-Group/129310523879966?ref=ts

https://twitter.com/AltamareaGroup

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rocky learned hospitality management at Le Cordon Bleu. His early first front-of-house position was at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, AZ, where he worked as a Room Service Manager and later transferred to open the Four Seasons in San Francisco. Afterward, he worked with Chef Gary Danko at his eponymous restaurant, Gary Danko. In March of 2004, Rocky moved to New York to work with Chef Daniel Boulud at his highly acclaimed restaurant, Daniel. After three years at Daniel, he moved on to become the Maitre’d at Cru. From there, Rocky was recruited by the Altamarea Group to join the opening team at Marea, to create a dining experience that combines seamless service, superb cuisine, an award‐winning wine program and above all else, comfort with style on Central Park South.

Under Rocky’s direction and deep commitment to the highest standards of service, Marea achieved the 2010 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the United States, as well as countless other accolades, including three stars from The New York Times, two Michelin stars, and most recently, induction into the elite Relais & Chateaux family.