Every year, ICE’s Culinary Management program hosts a one-of-a-kind series of lectures called Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs, during which a wide range of successful culinary business leaders and luminaries share their expertise with students and guests. Yesterday, Howard Greenstone of Rosa Mexicano restaurants came to ICE to discuss his experience helping grow and develop what is now an international restaurant group specializing in authentic Mexican cuisine with the Culinary Management students.

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Rosa Mexicano restaurants, Howard Greenstone directs its 12 restaurants in Atlanta, New York, Miami, National Harbor (MD), Hackensack (NJ), Los Angeles, Washington DC and Minneapolis. Since 2001, he has been a key leader in charting the restaurant group’s ambitious and strategic plans for national growth, created a proprietary series of on-site cooking classes and launched the company’s first commercial product line, RM Kitchen.

Prior to joining Rosa Mexicano, Greenstone was Vice President of Dry Dock Restaurants in Weehawken, NJ, and Director of Operations of Sfuzzi restaurants in ten states. Greenstone began his career in restaurant hospitality and management with the Grand Hyatt in New York and Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, CT. He served as opening general manager of Aquavit restaurant in New York City. In 2009, he was named to the Board of Directors for STREETS International (which was founded by former ICE Instructor Neal Bermas).

Under his direction, Rosa Mexicano has received both critical and popular local and national acclaim, including praise for its uniquely stylish and consistently crowd-pleasing atmosphere. Greenstone felt that the secret to Rosa Mexicano’s success was their cuisine deeply rooted in Mexico, but with a slightly more sophisticated approach. He praised the founder Josefina Howard for her vision and commitment to authentic foods. Greenstone even brought along a breakfast of Rosa Mexicano’s famous table-side guacamole prepared with grapes and fruit and scrambled huevos rancheros so the students could snack during the lecture.

For the next Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs lecture, check out our culinary career development class listings.

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