I remember the day perfectly. It was my birthday, and I was sitting on the beach in Cinque Terra Italy, watching the sunrise. I had the epiphany that I would become a chef. I had spent many of my years in the restaurant business, from busboy to waiter. But I realized on this trip through Europe with my friends that I was enamored with food. I had been exposed to wonderful dishes that were simple, and let the ingredients speak for themselves. It was honest. And it’s what I wanted to do, too.
With that decision, I focused on gaining the best education and experience I needed to make this a reality. I graduated culinary school at the California Culinary Academy and immediately put myself in one of the best French kitchens in the country, Daniel in NYC. Since then I have cooked in Atlanta, San Diego, and even France, to gain the most influential skills that I could carry along on my path to become a true craftsman.
My name is Mel Toledo. This fall I’m opening my restaurant, Foundation Social Eatery, along with my wife Sandy. For years, I’ve been looking for that perfect restaurant that I would want to eat at: One with fresh, quality ingredients that are used thoughtfully, to execute an enjoyable and even memorable meal. I’d like to eat that meal in a stylish setting, that’s not pretentious. Where I feel comfortable in flip flops or jeans, despite the caliber of food I’m eating. And I want to feel comfortable asking questions about the food, where it came from, how it’s prepared, and what wines pair well with it. I want to feel like a guest in a friend’s home, where they’re glad to see me, and I can stay as long as I like. I never found that restaurant, so that’s what I want to create. I hope you will find that in Foundation Social Eatery(FSE).
Whether you heard about us through friends or word of mouth, or you saw our Coming Soon banner at Connexion, the future home of FSE, we hope to have piqued your interest. We plan to be open late this fall. We will be blogging here about the process and happenings as we begin this adventure to realizing our dream. We hope you visit often, to check progress, and to be in the know, so that by the time we open our doors, you’ll know us well enough to feel like you are visiting your friends.