"Kelly Whitaker at BASTA is doing some incredible stuff."
Kelly Whitaker, Chef/Owner, BASTA
"I never set out to be a chef, and definitely not to win Chef of the Year. My background is in hospitality, and that's my true love. Cooking is just my means to serve people.
The only thing that matters to us at BASTA are the people who walk through our door.
Hospital, and hospitality, right? We take care of people here. That's all that we do."
It didn't always look like BASTA would be a success. This area was empty when we moved in and we didn't have any money. We were taking a huge chance.
But I had to make a run at it regardless.
During those early years, people would give me advice saying, 'Do this differently,' or, 'Do that.'
I said no. I knew we had to stay true to ourselves and to our style. That's what 'Basta' means in Italian. Stop. Enough. In Spanish, it means rebellion.
BASTA is a battle cry to myself, reminding me to always dig in, root myself and to really do something. To be disciplined and to stay true."
My Boulder Must
"Eat at Arcana, without a doubt. I'm also good friends with Hosea and Nate at Blackbelly and would tell people to head there."
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