We had the good fortune of connecting with Ian Winslade and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ian, how do you think about risk?
I am a very aggressive risk taker, which has been both a detriment and a strength in terms of both my life and my career. A life lived fully has to, in my option, include risk. We risk a part of ourselves every time we stretch, whether that stretch is part of personal growth, professional growth, or striving to be entrepreneurial. I have lost major things in my lifetime, houses, wives, businesses and lots of material possessions, but those things have also been defining moments of personal growth. Risk involves potential pain, but pain is a necessary part of growth. The one thing I hope is that I when get closer to the end of my journey,, I can look back and feel that it was worth it. But looking in the rearview mirror is a wasted emotion, so I think inspite of everything, the risks I have taken are fundamental to the person I am now, and I would not change that.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider my craft a craft. We are in the business of striving to replicate the same meals over and over again, and I think that some chef’s get hung up on the artistic part of cooking, rather than focusing on being consistent. My path to where I am today is not dissimilar to many other chefs, i’ve been sold on the dream of owning my own restaurant and building my own brand many times, only, and often painfully, to later realize that I was in fact helping someone else realize theirs, and the spoils went to them, while I was left to regroup. Those lessons didn’t ever make me jaded though, only more resolute, and once you identify all the people you don’t want to be around, you start to attract more authentic, symbiotic people who can align with your vision. My business partners now, Tony and Jonathan Akly and their entire family, are so supportive of me, and we share a common vision and goals. This is what all of the hard work was for, for me to be in this place, right now. We have done, and plan to do more amazing things!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think a visit to the Mountains north of Atlanta at the top of Georgia, and into the Carolinas and Tennessee is a must do trip. The natural beauty of this state isn’t readily apparent until you get out and look around. Along the way there are several friends that own restaurants that we could visit. The oddest thing about being in the business is how little time you have to get out and see what everyone else is doing, so a tour around town would be fun too.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give huge credit to my children, William who is 19 and Ellie who is 13. They have had to put up with me being away a lot, Not always managing my work life balance has been a long lesson, and I often wish I could have done more for them. But they love me anyway and are my biggest fans. I would also like to say that I have been in a long term relationship with my girlfriend Jane, who puts up with a very passion driven man, Not always easy to deal with!
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