Behind the Business of Ruffino’s Restaurant with Peter Sclafani

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Behind The Business Of Ruffinos Restaurant With Peter Sclafani

Chef Peter Sclafani can only be described as what Chef John Folse calls a “heritage chef.” He grew up in an Italian restaurant family who was known for Sclafani’s, a well-known restaurant established in New Orleans in the late 1950s. After serving in a number of kitchens for years, he enthusiastically followed in his family’s restaurateur footsteps when he joined forces with former LSU lineman, Ruffin Rodrigue, to take over full ownership of Ruffino’s in 2009.

Chef Peter has won a number of prestigious awards, including the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation’s “Jamie Shannon Outstanding Chef in 2015,” “Restaurateur of the Year” by the LRA, Baton Rouge’s Chef of the Year, Baton Rouge’s Marketer of the Year, two Fleur de Lis Culinary Awards gold medals at the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience and the Sterling Silver Premium Meats “Top Chef” Award in Banff, Canada. He has also received the honor of being showcased at the world-renowned James Beard House in New York and at the Washington, D.C. Mardi Gras Ball.

Chef Peter Sclafani serves on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, the LRA Education Foundation, Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University.

In addition, Ruffino’s has been named as Kirk Herbstreit’s “Best Restaurant in the Country” two years in a row at his ESPN Herbie Awards.

Since Sclafani and Rodrigue took ownership of Ruffino’s in Baton Rouge, they’ve also expanded to include a restaurant in Lafayette, Ruffino’s on the River, as well as a catering and banquet event space in downtown Baton Rouge called De La Ronde Hall.

So how does someone who recognized and capitalized on his calling function on a daily basis? We sat down and asked him some simple questions to get a small peek into his everyday workflow.

Name: Peter Sclafani

Business: Ruffino’s Restaurant

Title: Executive Chef/CEO

Current mobile device: iPhone 6+

PC or Mac? Mac

Can't leave the house without: A pocket knife

What’s one word that describes how you work? Constant

What's one app you can't live without? Waze

How do you stay organized? Things, Notes, Dropbox on my iPhone, iPad, laptop

What are you reading right now? Amaze Every Customer Every Time by Shep Hyken

What’s the best book you’ve ever read? Every year I reread The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and learn something new each time

Do you listen to music/podcasts while you work? If so, what? EntreLeadership, Jocko Podcast, Restaurant Unstoppable

What food/drink fuels your workday? Coffee

Morning Person or Night Owl? Night Owl

On average, how many hours of sleep do you get? 6

What time of day do you get the most done? Late night

If you had to give one piece of business advice to entrepreneurs, what would it be? Have the fear, but do it anyway.

What's your favorite weekend activity? Fishing


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