Me or the Menu: Meet the Couples

Get to know the four restaurateurs (and their significant others) chasing their dreams of opening their first restaurant.

Photo By: Nathaniel Smith

Photo By: Nathaniel Smith

Photo By: Laurie Perez

Photo By: Anders Krusberg


Chef James has been cooking in restaurants since he was 15 years old. After realizing his passion for cooking, he enrolled in culinary school and worked his way through the culinary world. He owns Bocadillo Market with his wife Jessica. Despite already having a full-time day job, Jessica helps market the restaurant and maintains its finances.


After inheriting her grandmother’s recipes, Kathy began making authentic Italian meals at home from scratch in hopes of opening a restaurant one day. Her fiance Nate didn’t share her interest in the restaurant business, but his desire to marry Kathy inspired him to propose with a food truck instead of a diamond ring. They are now co-owners of Saucy Kat, a food truck specializing in authentic Italian cuisine.


Nicole’s love for vegetarian cooking began after coming out of the military. She struggled with mental health issues and found that eating healthy helped significantly. She’s opening up Greenios, a restaurant specializing in veggie burgers, to help introduce others to a healthier lifestyle and promote an atmosphere in a restaurant that makes people feel good. Her boyfriend and co-owner Alan is going to help run Greenios once it opens, but for now he also helps run Nicole's construction and HVAC companies.


Randi originally started bartending to help pay for college but quickly fell in love with the restaurant business. 25 years later he opened up his own restaurant, Leland, which he co-owns with his fiance Jeanette. The restaurant itself has already created a buzz among the Brooklyn foodie scene, despite being open for only 11 months. Although the restaurant industry is not Jeanette’s thing, she’s supporting Randi by working at Leland full time until he feels comfortable and settled with the demands of the business.