Behind every restaurant, there’s a story. And behind that story are people, whose passions and life experiences are so often translated into the food that ends up on the plates they serve.
Such is the case at Mina, a new concept which launched at the Crossroads Collective in 2020. To get to the bottom of Mina concept, we’re chatting with Ryan Hoffman and Patrice Gentile, two passionate owners whose travels, experiences and love for food and culture inspired a small plates concept that whisks diners away to European climes through pintxos and creative plates that reflect both the culture of their origins and the seasonal fare of the Midwest.
Throughout the course of our conversation, we glean insights into the Mina concept, the inspiration behind its dishes and the challenges of launching a new concept during a global pandemic. Even more compelling, we’re offered a glimpse into the lives and goals of two seasoned travelers who’ve brought a bit of their experiences to the proverbial table.
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Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.