The Raw Hospitality Show


Ep 13: Marlene Leslie

Season 2, Ep. 13

I am delighted to be joined by the renowned hospitality expert & executive coach Marlene Leslie, a woman who is living proof of the power of reinvention and resilience.

During the show we explore the evolution of her career through the industry - from waiting tables in Texas as a young girl, to landing her first Restaurant Manager job in NYC aged only 23, going on to work with Chef Morimoto, then moving into hotels, joining The Standard group initially as Director of Operations then taking on responsibility for all their F&B, before finding her true passion, coaching others to be their best.

In this episode she shares with us what she has learned along the way - the importance of people, teams and a strong culture to build a successful brand and following, how to stand up for yourself, especially as a woman in a macho industry, the impact #metoo had on giving women a voice, and why having a clear vision of who we want to be and what matters to us, both professionally and personally, is critical to help us navigate through uncertain times.  

She’s full of insights and wisdom and is certainly more than resilient herself, having caught and fought covid last year, been responsible for having to lay off 100 people, all whilst handling being a new mother, she’s had it tough at times but remains optimistic about the future.   

Hope you enjoy the positive energy and advice she has to give.

More Episodes


Ep 12: Nasser Jabber - Founder The Migrant Kitchen

Season 2, Ep. 12
Today’s guest Nasser (Nas) Jabber (from The Migrant Kitchen amongst other things) is proof that resilience, determination, a strong moral compass and doing good for others can positively change your life. This guy’s story is truly fascinating and incredibly humbling.  From growing up in a tight-knit community and loving household , to finding himself living on the streets of NYC, we hear about his tenacity to keep going, even in times of great adversity.  Two global crises nearly ruined him, this latest one propelled him forward, and what started out as a way of emptying his fridges when he was forced to close his operation in order to help feed frontline workers has now become a full time job, empowering the migrants he employs to produce food from their homelands to feed not only those in need but discerning customers across the city.Originally from Ramallah, Palestine, Nasser Jaber came to the United States to study. Working at restaurants to pay his way, Nas discovered that his true passion was food. His talents would take him from waiting tables to training under some of the best chefs in New York City. Inspired by the diverse stories of America’s immigrant communities, Nas developed his acclaimed project Displaced Kitchens. Passionate about culinary diplomacy, Nas has worked with the U.S. government in Turkey and Sweden to provide real solutions to the refugee crisis through food hospitality and farming.We hope you enjoy this heartfelt exploration of a life that has had many twists and turns but ultimately allowed him to find his true calling/

EP 11: Greg Sherry - Co-owner Old Homestead Steakhouse NYC

Season 2, Ep. 11
Today I am joined by Mr Steak aka Greg Sherry, one of the brothers behind the iconic 150 year old Old Homestead Steakhouse in the infamous meatpacking district in NYC.This show is a real insight into why it’s important to be passionate about what you do, stay true to your beliefs and values, the importance of focusing on quality produce and not to diversify and dilute your offering too much.The Old Homestead Steakhouse NYC has been a family run business for the last 70 years when paternal grandfather Harry Sherry purchased the establishment after starting out as a dishwasher at the nearly century and a half old restaurant.  Whilst the area around them may have evolved, one thing that hasn’t changed is what they do.  They know their patrons come to them for one reason, mammoth cuts of the highest quality USDA prime dry-aged beef. It’s a proven model for success and has earned them a loyal following of customers, including a number of high profile diners, Whoopi Goldberg and Axel Rose to name a few.Brothers Greg and Marc have been pioneers in many industry firsts. Always on the cutting edge to introduce new experiences to their patrons, they were the first establishment in the USA to bring prized Wagyu, the most decadent, expensive and exquisite beef on the planet, to their patrons.  Whilst Covid forced them to cease restaurant dining for a while, it also allowed them to evolve their business model and look at new ways to allow people to experience their amazing selection of meat. If you’re not in NYC but hankering for a delicious steak, check out their produce available to order on Goldbelly.It’s a really heartwarming, honest and uplifting story about resilience and reinvention with a couple of celeb stories peppered throughout.  Enjoy.