Get To Know Alfredo Montero and Mr. Good StuffBy
MFT: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Alfredo: I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to Miami, Florida at the age of 6. My grandfather was a large part of my life growing up. He had a passion for the kitchen & vigorously worked at expanding his knowledge of everything & anything that involved the art of cooking. This fondness of the culinary arts was instilled in me at an early age. I remember I’d wake up for school and he’d ask me to choose a protein, (i.e. chicken, pork etc.) once I gave him my answer the follow-up question would be “What part of the world would you like to eat from?” If I answered North Africa for example, he’d whip up a Moroccan dish while I was away at school, and upon my return he’d thoroughly explain all of the intricate components that make up Moroccan cuisine… (i.e. lemon, cumin, cinnamon, green olives etc..). In addition to my early exposure to cooking, I graduated from Florida International University with a degree in Marketing. I have worked in restaurants,(back of the house, front of the house, and management), and I have also worked in food distribution sales. My work experience has given me a well rounded knowledge of the food industry.
MFT: How did the idea for Mr. Good Stuff come up?
Alfredo: Two years ago I found myself pondering what I wanted out of life. I was working for my best friend selling doors and hardware throughout the state of Florida. One day in conversation I asked him what he considered to be my passion in life. He did not hesitate for a minute. His answer to me was…Food! “That’s all you talk about and you light up when you talk about it”.
So, I resigned on the spot and at that very moment I made a firm decision to shift all my energy, thoughts and actions into making my dream a reality. Owning a restaurant was what I wanted, but due to financial restraints that was easier said than done. I began working at a restaurant on South Beach in order to save money. Months passed me by. Then one night I tuned into “The Great Food Truck Race”, and it looked so cool! This was sometime in August prior to the explosion of gourmet food trucks in the Miami region. Immediately I began my research. I contacted Tania at Food Cart USA for truck details and began my dream board without delay. I collaborated with friends (including David LeBatard aka Lebo) on food truck concepts, menus and flavors and the rest is history! Mr. Good Stuff was born! I owe a great part of my success to each and every one of those amazing friends that helped me in the creation of Mr. Good Stuff. I may not know it all, but luckily I am surrounded by people that know a lot. Thanks guys!!
MFT: What item on your menu best sums up Mr. Good Stuff?
Alfredo: I’d have to say our “4 Cheezy-My-Neezey”. In Venezuela, the “Arepa” is a traditional food item, which is also considered our national bread. “Arepitas” are white cornmeal balls mixed with white cheese and then deep fried. Because I grew up in a household that broadened my palette, I chose to substitute white cheese for mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, and gorgonzola cheeses. Because I grew up in Miami where Cubans are the majority, I decided to create my own interpretation of the long-standing Cuban tradition of serving guava and cheese. My goal was to take an authentic Venezuelan dish and blend it with traditional flavors from the city I’ve called home for the past 28 years.
MFT: Where does your passion come from?
Alfredo: My passion and my inspiration come from my adoration and respect for my grandfather “Papaviejo”.
MFT: What do you want to say to your fans?
Alfredo: Always dream and do everything and anything to make your dreams a reality. My goal is to share with all of you my love for food and my passion for cooking. I dedicate Mr. Good Stuff to my idol, my mentor, my “Papaviejo”.
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