Photo by NADINE OUILLETTE, Staff // Buy this photo
1000 North Collier Boulevard, Marco
Fortune’s Steak & Seafood, 1000 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island. Phone: 642-0777
Began working at present restaurant?
Who or what inspired you to become a chef/cook?
My mother, in my hometown of San Luis Porto, Mexico. She was a wonderful cook, and always let me help her in the kitchen preparing meals for the family. I learned to love cooking from her.
What was your first restaurant job?
I started as a prep cook at the Olde Marco Island Inn in 1989. I worked there for 12 years before I came to Fortune’s.
How long have you been cooking professionally?
I’d say about 18 years. I came to Marco Island with friends and they recommended me to the Olde Marco Island Inn. Summer was slow so I looked around for more steady work. Then I heard Fortune’s was looking for a chef. I applied and was hired as chef and I’ve been working full time at Fortune’s since February 2003.
How would you describe your cooking style?
It’s very true to our menu. I’d describe my style as consistent and always high quality American cuisine and I’m here seven nights a week to keep it that way.
What is your most popular dish?
Our most popular steak is our USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef Filet Mignon that can be ordered in petite, house or Kansas City cut. All three sizes served with a baked potato and vegetable du jour. But for seafood, it’s our popular macadamia nut-crusted Chilean sea bass filet with citrus vinaigrette, rice and vegetable du jour.
Where do you like to eat out on the island?
My wife is a wonderful cook and also, I’m usually here every night at the restaurant, but I like the Old Marco Pub for special occasions.
What is your favorite snack?
Do you cook at home? If so, what would we always find in your freezer?
My wife is a wonderful cook and she usually cooks at home for the family and prefers fresh ingredients.
What is your specialty? Why?
Fajitas carne made with beef, pork or chicken and peppers and onions with my specially seasoned secret sauce.
What annoys you most in the kitchen?
I’m very easy-going but well organized. I like to work in a neat kitchen with everything in its proper place.
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
The opportunity to be working here at Fortune’s and I especially enjoy pleasing our customers because they liked my cooking. When we’re not very busy in the kitchen I like to make my rounds of the dining room and hear people tell me how much they enjoyed their meal.