Mark Cashier, culinary manager of Hillstone Coral Gables
Why he’s Food 50: He runs the show at a workhorse of a kitchen that churns out consistently excellent food.
Mark Cashier was a fan and loyal customer of the Hillstone restaurant group before he started working at its Long Island location in 1999. Not everyone goes on to work there, but most anyone who eats at one of the group’s 49 restaurants becomes a repeat guest. Despite its corporate size, Hillstone operates as the anti-chain, empowering local chefs like Cashier to cook with their heart, not from a laminated recipe book. “I’m here at 6 a.m. every morning because everything on the menu is homemade,” Cashier says. “We butcher all our own fish and meat. Sometimes we make dressings or sauces two or three times before we feel like they’re perfect and ready for service.”
As culinary manager, Cashier is in charge of everything from food costs and hiring to training and expedition. He says his favorite part is when he gets to step off the line and interact with diners. “I think something that sets us apart is our hospitality,” he says. “And being able to bounce around, talk to guests, that gives me a real sense of pride for how hard we work and everything we do.”
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Where to find him: Hillstone Restaurant, 201 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-529-0141