The Finesse Cuisine Hour

On his podcast, The Finesse Cuisine Hour, Jon Wool interviewed restaurant owners, culinary experts, and successful entrepreneurs. We've collected some of their lessons and advice here. To listen to the full interviews, follow the link in each name.


Click here to see more excerpts. 

[On time management for restaurant owners]

“As a chef and a restaurateur, you get to a point where you have to decide ‘What’s next?’ or ‘How do I manage my time?’ That has been a challenge but I have an incredible crew that allows me to work on a new project and develop [new initiatives]. But at the end of the day, I think the satisfaction of cooking and creating something that is well-received – that’s still the ultimate for me so that’s something that I just need to incorporate into my time management.”

- Paul Virant

Chef and Owner

Vie, Western Springs, IL

Perennial Virant, Chicago, IL

Vistro, Hinsdale, IL

[On how to become successful]

"When I was at Kendall College, guidance counselors used to say to me all the time “I’m going to send you my most creative kids.”  And I would say “Well, they’re going to flunk out in the first six months…Send me your most anal kids” because culinary skills, in the first couple years, are learning how to execute, over and over again, at a high degree of excellence, a very serious number of very practical skills. It’s only years later that you get to exercise creativity. First you have to just be tremendously professional and polished at your craft. This is a message that is central to any kind of business success. You have to understand that excellence – at least doing the best you can do, every time – and professionalism is really what’s going to drive ultimate rewards."

- Howard Tullman

Entrepreneur and Educator

[On writing negative reviews]

"The assumption is that we critics love to write negative reviews because it’s so much fun to be nasty. And it’s certainly easy to do that. But I don’t think it’s that much fun and I never enjoy doing a negative review. For one thing, if I’m doing it, it’s because I’ve been very disappointed by at least two restaurant visits, probably three!"

- Phil Vettel

Chicago Tribune Restaurant Critic


Catersource Magazine

Eager-to-please caterers instinctually say "yes" to any client demand, no matter how outlandish. But learning to "Just Say NO" can be a valuable lesson in resource-management. Once you fully understand your objectives and abilities, you'll be able to "Now Say YES" to Best Fit Clients. Jon wrote these two important articles which appeared in Catersource Magazine.

This Special Events Magazine profile of Jon outlines his theater background and his success as a caterer. Many of the lessons he learned as an actor translate to the business world. Read the interview here.

In their cover story, SoHo Magazine profiled Jon's background as an actor and his 20+ years as a caterer. Click the cover to read the full article.

Jon was featured in Chicago Social's fashion editorial "Men of Style." Click the photo to read a larger version of the interview.

Radio Interviews logo

In his latest interview with Bob Ryals of Foodservice Radio, Jon discusses the importance of having a strong Fourth Quarter and he shares tips for streamlining operations and maximizing holiday profits. From selling a smart menu to retaining the best clients, this podcast shares ideas for making it the most wonderful time of the year! logo

When if comes to catering sales, there's a short path from contact to contract.  In this interview with Foodservice Radio, Jon reveals some secrets to new business development including how to identify Good Fit clients for your company.

In another interview with Bob Ryals, the host of "Business of Foodservice" on, Jon shares his thoughts on hiring and managing staff. They talk about the best ways to hire the right people and how to develop a staffing program renowned for "Ninja Service."

Wedding 101 Radio Show logo

The Wedding 101 Radio Show is an insightful resource for both couples planning their wedding and for the professionals they hire. In this interview with David Rothstein, Jon discusses the importance of balancing a client's vision of an ideal event with a company's need to operate profitably.