How do so many chefs, a breed not known for small egos, get along in such close quarters? “There’re hardly any conflicts,” Engelbert says, “and anytime there is, we settle it by doing a dance-off to see who gets the most laughs—not that it’s judged! But there’s always dancing. Last time was a rainy afternoon, and Lady Gaga was roaring!”
Jordan Ceresnie’s Cheese Dream—a cart specializing in artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches and soups—is new this year. “I’m a classically trained chef and worked at Zingerman’s Roadhouse for the last two-and-a-half years,” says Ceresnie, a knit cap on his head and his forearms covered with tats. “We’ve been here since the end of March, and business has been good enough so that I’m paying the bills and myself.” In first-year retail, that’s near bliss.
“But even if the money wasn’t as good, I’d still do this because it’s more rewarding,” Ceresnie continues. “I’m working directly with customers here, and you don’t get that in restaurants. Plus I’m surrounded by great chefs.”
Everyone in the kitchen is working full out, moving deftly and with purpose. But the most intense is Paul Kessenich, who runs and with his wife owns Darcy’s Cart, specializing in breakfast burritos and other eclectic and local items.