Saturday, August 1, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: Rochelle Schaetz AND Alan Wollenschlaerger from Nando's Peri-Peri

Rochelle studied Food Science & Marketing and did her internship through Holiday Inn group- at which time she also thought it appropriate to obtain a professional chef’s qualification – the rest is history …

What made you decide to enter into the DC market? - Alan Wollenschlaerger, Director of USA Operations

Our research into US cities on the East Coast: lead us to believe that Washington DC has a balanced racial demographic and that a high amount of the population had been exposed to International travel and are Internationally aware, the rents for property are a lot cheaper than NY and that with a high amount of Federal Employees that DC would be more resistant to economic downturns

What are you plans for expansion in other US markets? - AW

The US has only been trading for 1 year now, and in that time we have opened our second restaurant, we are looking for more great restaurant sites in DC Metropolitan area and once we have a tweaked our restaurant model to satisfy the American consumer we plan to expand further up the East Coast and then to Chicago and LA. But please be patient these things take time.

Who are your culinary inspirations?
Chefs like Ferran Adria who manage to embrace science and creativity in a culinary rewarding manner- without scaring guests with science.. Chefs who think about what they combine on a plate- and how it is presented- there is a structure and vision to what they create..

What are some of the challenges you face now?
How to protect the terroir and tradition of Peri-Peri, as its popularity – and use -- is spreading around the world. If it ain’t from Africa, it ain’t Periperi!

Anything else you'd like to convey to the readers:

Just because it is a chili, does not mean it is excruciatingly hot. Peri peri has a unique flavor- that makes it so special.


Sylvie said...

My friends and I had dinner at the 18th Street location and the chicken was delicious. My only complaint is the butternut squash and grilled corn side is served in the summer. I should have known better since butternut squash is in season in the winter but this side was completely tasteless. Otherwise, the food was very good.

Capital Cooking said...

Yeah, it is a good spot