221 West Goodland Drive, Goodland, FL
Stan’s Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant
221 W. Goodland Dr., Goodland Phone: 394-3041
Hours: Lunch 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed Monday.
Began working at present restaurant?
I came to Stan’s 10 years ago.
Who or what inspired you to become a cook?
I’m from Monterrey, it’s the third largest city in Mexico, but I was young 26 years ago and wanted to come to the U.S. When the Ritz Carlton in Naples offered me a job in the prep kitchen I accepted and came here in 1982. I was inspired to be a chef watching how they cooked and how they presented the food. I wanted to do that too and asked the chef if I could and worked my way up to the line after four years.
What was your first restaurant job?
The Naples Ritz Carlton, here in the United States in 1982.
How long have you been cooking professionally?
Since I became a line cook. After the Ritz Carlton, I was a line cook 4 years at the Café de Marco, and then Arturo’s offered me a job and I took it get experience cooking different food styles; for a little while I tried cooking Chinese and Oriental but my favorite foods are American and Italian.
Do food trends affect your cooking style?
Yes they do because of the importance given to organic and fresh. Here at Stan’s we always served the freshest seafood and locally grown produce and vegetables — whatever is available. We also were the first restaurant in the area to serve fresh soft shell crab sandwiches.
Are you planning changes to your menu for the new season?
When season starts here I make changes because other seafood becomes available that can be cooked different ways. Mostly, I grill or sauté. If the seafood is fresh it doesn’t need heavy sauces. If a customer wants his fish deep fried I will, but lightly breaded.
What is your most popular dish?
That’s got to be Tony’s Seafood Pasta with Lobster Sauce. I make my own stock and reduce it for sauce, adding carrot and pepper for flavor. The Sautéed Grouper in White Wine Sauce is also a good seller, and I don’t burn the garlic! Our Caesar Salad is a popular lunch item and you can add a choice of blackened fish filet, grilled chicken breast or teriyaki shrimp and make a meal of it.
What is your favorite food?
Anything Mexican, and sometimes I’ll make a special for the menu, but many times if I make it (Mexican food) I’ll also cook some for the staff.
Do you cook at home? If so, what would we always find in your pantry?
Yes I do. I have two boys and they love my pizza. I make my own dough and my wife, Margarita, rolls it out.
What is your secret ingredient? Why?
I use a lot of cumin because it adds a lot of flavor, but I guess my secret would be my special seasoning mix.
What would you like to be doing if you weren’t a chef?
What annoys you most in the kitchen?
Nothing really. You have to be laid back when you cook because it makes the food taste better.
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
I enjoy the compliments. Recently a customer from France wanted to see me and came in the kitchen. They wanted to tell me they enjoyed my Chicken Marsala and one of my night’s specials, the Seafood and Angel Hair with Classic Basil Pesto Sauce!