Advice to Your Younger Self

A cell phone has been invented that allows you to send one text message to your younger self. What do you write?

“Stay in school, get that degree.”

Chef at The Brandywine

“Hey there, younger self! I know things might feel tough right now, but I want you to know that you’re stronger than you realize. Despite the challenges we faced growing up, we’ll find a way to navigate them and carve out our own destiny. Every struggle, every setback, it all contributes to shaping who we become. Keep believing in yourself, because in the end, it’s all worth it. You’ll overcome the odds and create a life that you never thought possible. So keep pushing forward, keep dreaming big, and never lose sight of the amazing person you are becoming. I believe in you!” And Most importantly I love you.”

Chef at Restaurant Aleksandar

“Be assertive even if they think you’re a ‘bitch.’”

Pastry Chef at Schulson Collective

“Keep traveling and see and cook all over the world. Be patient with yourself and goals.”

Chef-owner of Forsythia

“Keep learning and keep “making”—that’s where the true joy resides. Completely ignore the extra money, titles and social media presence. Be repulsed by them.”
“Find a partner with who will tell you the truth.”
“Enjoy the ride.”

Chef-owner of Friday Saturday Sunday

“Hey Marc, it’s your 57-year-old self. You’re probably living in Italy right now cooking and wondering if you made the right move. Well, you did! Candidly, I wish I had some good advice to give you but I don’t. We made some interesting choices along the journey, and it is a journey, but they all seem to be the right ones at the right time. Your road may seem hard at certain moments, even unimaginable, but you always followed your heart and your passion in spite of what other people told you, and I can’t say I would advise you to do anything different. Most importantly you care about people and the things that matter—maybe just think about that a little more along the way! But at 57 you’re still doing what you love with amazing people who you trust. Heck you even married the damn homecoming queen—ok, the runner-up, but who’s counting?! Enjoy the ride my friend and soak it all in. I may seem far away from you for now but trust me when I tell you it’s really short and goes so fast! Cherish every moment. The good and the not so good. Tutta fa il brodo! Since you’re in Italy you’ll understand that. Have fun! See you in a minute!”

Chef-owner of Vetri Cucina

“Trust your own instincts! Don’t depend solely on the council of others. You’ll know when something is right when you feel it deep in your soul! The rest will follow.”

Chef-owner of Zeppoli and Palizzi Social Club

“You are a genius!”

Chef-owner of Kalaya

““Don’t chase the papers!” As a younger chef, I looked to impress the writers and critics. I felt that I had traveled significantly and worked hard in great restaurants so I should be acknowledged for my cough achievements. But you know who comes in every week and pays the bills? Folks from the neighborhood. I couldn’t have been more off-base with my early endeavors. Cooking is from the soul. Restaurants are founded in hospitality; the reason I started cooking was to ameliorate someone’s day. Don’t lose track of yourself!”

Co-founder of Rival Bros. Coffee and Enswell

“Never say no to the guest because they’re always right. Oh wait—buy bitcoin. Forget opening restaurants.”

Co-founder of Rival Bros. Coffee and Enswell