Name: Lynn Buono
Title: The CEO title doesn't really exist at Feast Your
Eyes in a traditional way. My title is CCO (chief culinary
Company: Feast Your Eyes Inc. of Philadelphia.
Recent project: Developed recipes specially created for
caterers for Maple Leaf Duck, a national vendor of duck
Education: B.A., English literature, LaSalle
University; post-graduate studies in literature and philology,
University of Fribroug, Fribourg, Switzerland
First job: A) Tallying receipts for my father in his
meat provisions business. B) Restaurant work while in high
Little known fact about me: I'm a certified Alexander
Home: Fairmount section of Philadelphia.
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Essential business philosophy: Business success begins
with a top-notch product or service but isn't complete if that
requires sacrificing one's life outside of work. A company is
obligated to apply this to both the business owners and the
employees. A business is not an entity; it's a process.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Not to be isolated
in a general sense; experience other people's food in the
specific. Exposure to theater, music, travel and art in many
forms is essential to keeping the creative process
percolating, which fuels one's ability to stay on the leading
edge of the wave, and perhaps even invent the edge.
Yardstick of success: Happy clients, happy company
team. The first is evidence of successful events, the second
means we're able to compensate staff with appropriate amounts
of money and time while being financially sound.
Goal yet to be achieved: To be the best at what I do in
the country. That does not meaning always serving foie gras
and caviar. The social nature of catering enhances peoples'
lives and they should be able to have great events at
different price points.
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Best decision: Buying real estate for our business as
we grew, rather than renting.
Worst decision: A) Not buying more real estate. B) Not
installing big business financial practices early enough.
Toughest decision: Any time we have to fire an employee
who simply is not working out.
Mentor: My parents.
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Word that best describes me: Surprising.
Like best about my job: The design aspect of both the
menu and the presentation.
Like least about my job: Paperwork.
The most important lesson I've learned: You can never
let up in expecting excellence, because achieving it is a day
in/day out job.
Life motto: One person can make a difference in the
Greatest fear: I am driven to produce great work, but
the corollary to that is fear of not producing great work.
Person most interested in meeting: Gandhi.
Company you respect most: U.S. Postal Service: an
incredible amount of details to accomplish every day, without
let up, across the whole country.
First choice for a new career: Writing an entertaining
Greatest extravagance: My cookbook collection.
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Award/honor most proud of: Being asked to be president
of the Philadelphia chapter of LesDames d'Escoffier, and
setting up the endowment for the Julie Dannenbaum Scholarship
for women entering the food industry.
Most influential book: My first serious books of
poetry, because they made me understand the power of words.
Favorite movie: "The Big Night."
Favorite restaurant: I tend towards ethnic restaurants
that are not so expensive they can't be part of our normal
week. We love having BBQ platters at Vietnam, Roberta Adamo's
gnocci at Penne, Tom's South Street Souvlaki or Joe Poon's
Favorite vacation spot: Taormina, Sicily.
Favorite way to spend free time: Family travel.
Automobile you drive: Mazda MPV minivan and Mini Cooper