Five questions for Chef Altiero
Rockland — Living the seamless existence between chef and cafe owner, Kerry Altiero appears to do it with ease.
From cooking to catering to running a farm, the chef's energy is contagious. And his crew is as eclectic as the ever-changing menu offered at the bistro-style Cafe Miranda.
In June he celebrates 21 years at the 15 Oak St. location. Altiero, who has been creating dishes in the kitchen for the past 31 years, has received numerous awards for his cooking prowess, including being named 2012 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year and 2013 Harvest on the Harbor Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant.
When he is not at the cafe or catering or attending some charitable event, Altiero is working at his farm — Headacre Farm — in Owls Head that helps provide vegetables and wood for the wood-fired oven.
Altiero took a few moments to answer these five questions:
How did you get started as a chef?
"I've always cooked. I was a vegetarian in the 1970s. I needed to have food that had guts to it," said the self-taught Altiero, who has also been a chef in Cape May, N.J. as well as the East Wind Inn in Tenants Harbor.
Do you have a favorite recipe?
"That's real tough. How do you choose any one thing?"
What is your biggest accomplishment?
"Surviving in a business that has a worst survival rate than a meth lab. Having the best staff helps as well. They really put their heart into it."
Why the off-beat questions on the application, such as "Do you believe Elvis is alive?" and "If you were a car what would you be?"
"It gives me a sense of who is applying, and tells me if they have a sense of humor. Back in the day, there use to be a lot of Volkswagens applying."
"I wanted to be a part of something. The businesses here work in a cooperative manner. Life is the way it should be."
If you know of a candidate for Five Questions, please email Beth A. Birmingham at firstname.lastname@example.org.