Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Pierre Hilzim Restaurant Unstoppable Podcast

Chef Pierre Hilzim, President of Kajun Kettle Foods, is a NOLA native who learned to cook at the tender age of ten from his father, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. After spending several years running high-end restaurants in San Francisco and designing kitchens for award-winning chefs from Italy, Chef Pierre returned home in 1981 to found Kajun Kettle Foods. The chef named his signature dish, the Crawfish Monica, after his wife and partner, Monica Davidson, who joined Kajun Kettle shortly after its creation. She has a degree in linguistics from UC Berkeley and has lived in five countries; in addition to English, Monica speaks French, Spanish, and German. Her early career was as an executive with Macy’s, California. Monica now manages Kajun Kettle’s Personnel, Marketing and Public Relations Departments.

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Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "If you don't love it, you will live it, so learn to fall in love with it."
  • "Most people underestimate the power of great food."

In this episode with Chef Pierre Hilzim and Monica Davidson we will discuss:

  • The seasonal nature of retail and restaurants
  • The benefits to being multilingual
  • Squashing bribery and corruption in a restaurant
  • What is a Research Chef?
  • Food manufacturing and processing
  • The power of networking
  • Food science
  • Going into business with family/spouses?
  • Women business owners
  • Trademarking a product or menu item

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Pierre: Passion
    • Monica: Passion
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Pierre: Get tired
    • Monica: Passion
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Pierre: Passion
    • Monica: Integrity
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Pierre: Keeping everything focused
    • Monica: COVID
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Pierre: Respect
    • Monica: Caring about the customer
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Pierre: Do all that's possible
    • Monica: Learn as much as you can about your customer
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What is something restaurateurs don't do well enough or often enough?
    • Pierre: Recognize their employees
    • Monica: Recognize how important the guest is
  9. If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?
    • Pierre: Passion, love, stick to it
    • Monica: Don't forget the people that helped you get to where you are, give back to your community, appreciate the wonder and fun and power of food

Contact info:


Email for Pierre:

Email for Monica:

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Huge thanks to Chef Pierre Hilzim and Monica Davidson for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: Hilzim_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT