3 Scoops

Sweet Potato Battle

Biz Markie vs Wheeler del Torro Chef Battle vegan chili
Biz Markie vs Wheeler del Torro Chef Battle vegan chili

Photographer and freelancer Josh Reynolds came out to 3 Scoops this weekend to document the Iron Chef style battle between Biz Markie and I. His slide show on Boston.com has highlights from the night.

"Boston-based chef and cookbook author Wheeler del Torro worked on pot of vegetarian sweet potato and black truffle sloppy joes during a chef battle with hip-hop artist and Yo Gabba Gabba! contributor Biz Markie at 3 Scoops Cafe in Brighton on Jan. 26. The event aimed to raise money for the ice cream shop."

Food and Relationships

Global Business Hub header
Global Business Hub header

Check out this great article from Boston.com by Patty Katsaros about making connections through food. Look for more of her events at Kitchn Table and 3 Scoops. Pairing food with lasting connections

By Patty Katsaros

While you may appreciate cuisine and even consider yourself a foodie, you may not have contemplated the role food has played in building your relationships. The experiences shared while breaking bread are often the most memorable. Food brings people together in a most meaningful way. In business, however, we often lose sight of this little gem when organizing customer or employee related events. We focus instead on how to bring people in, whom to invite, even what content to provide - but the food is often an afterthought at best!

Boston pop-up restaurant affairs, often held at a secret location with a surprise menu, bring together a diverse group of curious guests. I have seen firsthand how the collective experience serves to open people up. Diners share stories, express opinions and even begin friendships as they relate to the cuisine. Chef Wheeler Del Torro , a Boston based pioneer in creating unique pop-up gatherings, thrives on this interaction: “There is nothing more rewarding than watching food melt away the walls people instinctively put up when in a room with strangers. Great cuisine is a natural conversation starter.”

So why not consider making food the centerpiece of your next event? It may cost you more than those veggie trays or cheese plates, but the benefits that come from creating a memorable experience will be more than worth it! Just as dinner parties break down barriers, an event that revolves around food fosters discussions that extend beyond business. The connections created lay the foundations for the meaningful relationships key to success and sustainable growth. You develop a deeper understanding of your guests as people and not just clients or prospects. Who they are outside of the office invariably shapes and informs how they relate to you and your company’s product. Uncovering this enables you to provide value uniquely suited to your client and to establish trust so important to both parties.

Here are some quick ideas for your next event:

Create your event goals first then consider how food will help you meet your objectives. For example, if you want to increase interaction between your team and clients, have your staff serve creative appetizers that require explanation.

If value is created by guests interacting with each other, facilitate the process with participatory food prep stations or a short pre-meal cooking class.

To remind clients of your expertise and leadership, feature food experts to educate your guest on the origin of the food served. You could assist the lecturer and facilitate the Q&A.

Serve a variety of unique items to accommodate varied tastes and dietary restrictions while encouraging discussion

Patty Katsaros, a Boston World Partnerships (BWP) Connector and founder of P.H. Koules Consulting, helps companies engage their clients and prospects with custom, targeted events. Her Art of Networking series brings together top Boston professionals for fantastic food and meaningful connections.

Entree to Black Paris

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Monique Wells of Discover Paris! on the Entree to Black Paris blog. Read the full interview here.

Chef Wheeler Del Torro on Cooking in Paris

I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of 

Chef Wheeler Del Torro

 virtually, after he contacted Discover Paris! about taking an Entrée to Black Paris walking tour over the Christmas holidays. He currently lives in Boston, where he operates the underground restaurant called Pharmacie at 



When I learned that Chef Del Torro hails from Jamaica and that he had cooked professionally in the City of Light, I immediately asked him for an interview. Here's what he has to say about Paris and its place in his culinary career and vegan lifestyle.


ETBP: When did you come to Paris? WDT: My adventure in Paris began when I came to the city in the late 90s. The city was a lot different then. I graduated from high school and moved here with my girlfriend at the time, Max, who was born and raised here. I was so in love. You know how amazing French women can be. Paris is amazing - this city taught me how to cook, how to host a proper dinner party, how to slow dance… and I think the most important thing was just how to enjoy life.

ETBP: How long did you live here? WDT:I had planned to stay for a few months in the summer, but returned to the States 3 years later. I would go home for holidays and birthdays, but that was it. I didn’t want to miss any of the action in Paris. Time just seemed to fly. I spent the time exploring antique shops, markets, bookstores, cafes, and of course, learning how to cook.

ETBP: Where did you work here? WDT: I hosted dinner parties around the city. Also in Nice and Sarlat.

ETBP: Talk about your Fillet of Soul dinners. Where were they held? WDT: Our Fillet of Soul dinners began as book club in the 6th, where I was living at the time. I was trying to expand my social circle, because I had just moved here and didn’t know one person outside of my girlfriend’s family. My idea was a conversation about the book and a meal. I invited people who I wanted to be friends and acquaintances with. The Internet, word-of-mouth and my passion about books and culture helped grow the book club into a bi-weekly dining event. As they grew, we expanded into larger flats (homes) around the city, and included music and sometimes performance art.

ETBP: Who would attend? WDT: Our regular group was a mix of young professionals, budding artists, poets, rappers, and students. We would also reach out to innovative young chefs and entrepreneurs.

ETBP:Your Web site talks about you selling desserts to nightclubs and to high profile events and parties as your reputation grew on the Paris culinary scene. What types of desserts did you sell? WDT: I provided my Black Label desserts, which have alcohol infusions. I created a variety of flavors ranging from a Dom Perignon champagne sorbet to a Kahlua cookies and cream.

ETBP: How long have you been a vegan? WDT: I have been vegan for over a decade.

ETBP: Describe how you came to embrace the vegan diet / lifestyle. WDT: I worked for a banker as a private chef. His doctor gave him the option to radically change his diet or face another heart attack. To help encourage him to change his diet, I made a substantial monetary bet with him to see who could be vegan the longest. I have been vegan ever since.

ETBP: What are some of your favorite vegan eating establishments in Paris? WDT: The Gentle Gourmet is my current favorite. They have delicious options for every meal of the day and have been at the forefront of introducing the concept of “vegan” to Paris. For a casual meal, I like SOL Semilla in the 10th.

ETBP: What would you advise vegan tourists who visit Paris regarding eating? WDT: Enjoy Vegan Paris! There are many great vegetarian and vegan restaurants springing up around the city. Check online with the blogs Vegan ParisMy Vegan Paris Adventure, and the Paris Vegan Meet Up Group.  For supplies ranging from groceries to toothpaste, visit the team at Un Monde Vegan.

ETBP: Do you cook non-vegan foods for your clients? WDT: No, I like the opportunity to challenge and surprise my clients with the many possibilities of vegan food.

ETBP: Compare the London culinary scene with that of Paris. WDT: As a person who travels about two weeks out of each month cooking and entertaining, you can tell a lot about a city and where people are culturally, from the types of people who show up at pop-up dining events. Because I create underground temporary restaurants, which gives me the flexibility to collaborate with local chefs, I would have to say both cities are on the move and producing some amazing young chefs that are going to transform the culinary landscape for the foreseeable future. For the record, Paris does stand out. It is the epicenter of beautiful women (and men) willing to experiment with food.

ETBP: When you came to Paris, did you establish contact with the Jamaican community? WDT: I ventured over to Little Africa and made friends, but I didn’t connect specifically with the Jamaican community. However, many people from the Islands reached out to me because of my jerk sauce. They used to tell me it reminded them of home. I remember at one of my events an older woman started weeping while eating a jerk dish I made. I didn’t know what to make of it; I thought maybe it was too spicy for her. I asked her if she was okay. She told me she hadn’t tasted anything like that since her grandmother had cooked for her as a child.

ETBP: Are there any other national cuisines that have influenced your culinary style? WDT: Other types of cuisine constantly inspire me. Many of my recipes are fusions of different cuisines like soul food with Asian elements or West African street food with traditional French fare. I often do tapas, which can be very experimental depending on who I’m cooking for.

ETBP: What is attractive about the city of Boston as a home base for you and your business? WDT: Boston has over 50 colleges and universities that attract the most brilliant and creative students, professors, entrepreneurs, and people from around the world. You could be riding in subway and hear people talking about quantum physics and the person next to you chatting on the cell phone about their second round of financing for their biotech startup. My offices are sandwiched between Harvard on one side and MIT on the other, which keeps me stimulated and creative. Boston also has a large French community, with an activecultural center hosting events and classes almost every day.

The Gentle Gourmet 24 Boulevard de la Bastille 75012 Paris Telephone: 01 43 43 48 49 http://gentlegourmetcafe.com/ Metro: Bastille (Lines 1 and 8), Quai de la Rapée (Line 5)

Sol Semilla 23 rue des Vinaigriers 75010 Paris Telephone: 01 42 01 03 44 http://www.sol-semilla.fr/  Metro: Jacques Bonsergent (Line 5)