For today’s episode of the Let’s Meet For a Beer Podcast I met up with my friend Rieley Kay, owner of Cilantro & Chive in Lacombe, Alberta. We discuss the craziness of the past year – not only has Rieley navigated through the pandemic (which is chaos enough for most people) he has also opened a second location in Red Deer!
Rieley started washing dishes in a restaurant when he was 13 and has been involved in the hospitality industry ever since. After High School, he attended the cooking program at SAIT and has also completed programs at Red Deer College in Food & Beverage Management and Accommodations & Marketing Management to ensure he has a deeper understanding of the industry.
We discuss the challenges facing hospitality and what he is doing to address these issues within his restaurants. “The restaurant industry is a badly broken and damaged industry across North America. We can’t change an entire industry, but we can change how we do business. We ensure our team is looked after, and our guests and community are cared for.”
Over the years Cilantro & Chive has won a number of awards and we discuss what Rieley believes makes them unique. His goal is to recreate “Grama’s kitchen table – to be a place where conversation and connections happen. People can enjoy good food, good drinks, and some good company.” It was great to connect with him and share his story – I hope you enjoy our conversation!