Randy Brooks, president and CEO of Cool Hand Luke’s Steakhouse, calls himself a “restaurant brat” since he grew up in the restaurant business. His father, Chick, developed more than 20 concept restaurants. “I’ve worked in restaurants since I was 10,” Brooks says. “I’ve been a busboy, manager and driven delivery trucks. I’ve done it all.”

At Wildflower Bread Co., employees – referred to as Breadheads – strive to maintain the Old World traditions of artisan breadmaking, President, CEO and founder Louis J. Basile Jr. says. Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., the company operates 11 locations that skillfully bake and sell its award-winning bread.

Dianne Crowley has many reasons to be excited about the success of Wild Wing Café, the casual dining franchise she and her husband, Cecil, launched on Hilton Head Island, S.C., 20 years ago. First, she takes pride in staying in business two decades despite having no prior restaurant experience. Then, there are the numerous awards for the signature recipes and laid-back atmosphere that her franchisees have earned throughout the southeastern United States.

While Louisiana is known worldwide for its unique cuisine that blends a number of cultures into one rich melting pot of flavor, Dana Deutsch never intended to open another restaurant that served that fare. A New Orleans native, Deutsch studied in San Francisco and backpacked throughout Europe and Asia, and he knew he could offer a sampling of the international tastes he enjoyed throughout his travels back in his home state.

The Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City’s Grand Central Station is probably one of the most famous seafood restaurants in the world. The historic eatery has been featured in the opening credits for “Saturday Night Live” and was used as base of operations for the “Oysters” video category on “Jeopardy!” But it’s the restaurant’s fresh fish that really makes the place famous.

Established in San Marcos, Texas, under the name Golden Fried Chicken, Golden Chick set itself apart from competitors such as KFC, Church’s Chicken and Popeyes Chicken with its original recipe for all-tenderloin chicken tenders. After more than 40 years in business, the company has gained a loyal following of diners looking for a family-style eating experience, an affordable menu and a classic recipe for fried chicken.

In the 1731 song “The Roast Beef of Old England,” roast beef is described as a “mighty” dish that “ennobled our brains and en­rich­ed our blood.” At this time, it was considered a signature meal in Eng­land. As some of the British moved to America, however, tastes changed, and by 1900, a writer with the Washington Post described roast beef as “a tired ark in gravy flood.”

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