Friday - December 22, 2006 Share Del.icio.us | Podcast | WineAndDineHawaii.com
John Langan is the assistant general manager at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Here he talks about how he avoided life as a financial planner to find a career in the restaurant industry.
Where were you born and raised?
Born in Long Island and raised in Connecticut. I moved to Hawaii as soon as I graduated from college, and I feel like this is home.
What got you interested in the food and beverage industry?
At first it was because I needed a job, but it didn’t take long to realize that this is what I wanted to do for my career. I guess I still use what I learned with my degree in economics, but this is a far different path from the financial planner job that I took when I graduated!
First job in the industry?
A pot scrubber at Chuck’s in Connecticut when I was 16. I was promoted to dishwasher within two weeks!
Influences so far in your career?
Rick Enos, the owner of Compadres. I worked for Compadres for eight years before venturing out to Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and I learned a lot from Rick. He has an energy and passion for the business, which is contagious. I also owe a lot to my football, baseball and lacrosse coaches. They taught me that effort does not always equal results, and it takes more than just raw talent to succeed.
Where do you go to eat when you’re not working?
I love breakfast with a newspaper crossword puzzle at Jack’s in Aina Haina. And I love the Filet Mignon at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. I have a ton of respect for Chef Nawai over there, and I like the way the staff takes care of people at Ruth’s Chris.
Do you cook at home?
Whenever I can. I make good Buffalo wings, and a pretty darn good fresh salsa and guacamole.
What’s always in your fridge?
Half and half for my coffee, fresh squeezed OJ, turkey bacon, and good Parmesan cheese.
Four-way tie: Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, Caddyshack and Animal House.
What’s your idea of perfect relaxation?
Sleep in, 18 holes of golf, swim in the ocean, ending with a sunset barbecue at my house with friends.
What’s your idea of a great restaurant experience?
Honestly, I love the momand-pop dining experience. I guess I am a pretty blue-collar guy. If I want a “great dining” experience though, my vote is Roy’s, Hawaii Kai.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Jim Brown, NFL Hall of Famer and All American lacrosse player from Syracuse University.
How do you describe Macaroni Grill to people who’ve never been?
It’s a contemporary, casual, upscale Italian restaurant. It’s both noisy and quiet, intimate and boisterous. We can be romantic yet casual at the same time. I know that sounds crazy, but you can find almost everything here. And we’re perfect for family dining.
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