Food comes first for First Food & Bar server
By Kiko Miyasato
It’s been two years since server Grace Cavazos started working for chef Sam DeMarco’s First Food & Bar at The Palazzo, and she’s right where she wants to be. “(Working with food) is the only thing that I ever wanted to do. I don’t do anything, really, that’s not related to the food industry … that includes cooking, serving, pastries, bartending. To me, as long as I’m in a restaurant that I care about, that is fun, that is like this place, it’s all good,” said Cavazos. “It’s just fun. We have a great chef; Chef Sam is crazy, insane. He comes up with the most amazing food.”
Cavazos is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, and while she isn’t working in the kitchen of First Food now (“One day I would like to go back there and throw down with them. Take off the high-waisted skirt and throw on a chef’s coat, pull out my knives…”), she’s your ticket to the perfect meal. “For my age, I’ve grown to have a strong relationship with food; we’re in a serious relationship. I feel like I’m extremely knowledgeable, (I’ve worked) in a variety of restaurants and cuisines. My goal at the end of the day is to have people leave and say, ‘Wow, that was awesome.’ If I can do that and get them to come back, then I’ve done my job,” she said.
When not working at First Food, Cavazos, who is part Irish and part Spanish—“I can drink a lot and fight if need be”—cooks Southern Italian dishes and bakes sweets. “I eat, breathe, sleep, dream food,” she said.
One of the treats of dining at First Food & Bar is the roaming Bloody Mary cart. Your drink is made-to-order right at your table, with Cavazos heading up the charge. The Bacon Bloody Mary is mixed with Absolut bacon-infused vodka and First’s secret Bloody Mary mud and topped with a skewer of green olives, cherry tomatoes and a pepper, cooked bacon, celery and a celery salt rim. Other infused vodkas include ginger, garlic and pepper, and you can even get an Andy Capp’s Hot Fries rim.