Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#ThankYouMiami Stories: Marc Randazzo

Through our #ThankYouMiami lens, we are writing a chapter of our community's story. Starting today, that narrative will be punctuated with personal stories from our community's movers and shakers. After all, communities are only as good as the people from which they are comprised and Miami has some amazing people with exciting stories to tell.

Our new series, #ThankYouMiami Stories, will introduce you to locals who are making magic in Miami and give you a taste of what brought them here, how Miami plays a part in their past, and how Miami will contribute to their future. Who better for the first rendition of this series than the owner of Miami staple Randazzo's Little Italy, Marc Randazzo? In December, we joined the Foodie Firm for generous helpings of Marc's homemade Italian dishes during which we discussed his connection with Miami.

What brought you to Miami after growing up in Chicago?
My trainer Angelo Dundee moved down here so I had to come down to train with him. The weather was always so beautiful and I couldn't get enough of it so I decided to move down. I haven't left since.

What convinced you to stay and open up a restaurant here?
I loved the weather and culture of Miami. After I became a heavy weight champion, I stopped fighting so I needed to find a way to support my family. I never went to college so I didn't have a degree, but I did know how to cook. My friend Jim loved my food and knew I could cook. He helped me open up Randazzo's about 11 years ago with a menu of my mother and grandmother's recipes that we have stuck with since. If you don't like my food, you can call them up!

Why did you choose Coral Gables for your restaurant out of all of Miami's neighborhoods?
I live in Coral Gables, which is ideal because I am usually at the restaurant around 7 a.m. to prep for the day and make gravy. I also like the families who come out to my restaurant - a lot of the people around the area are loyal customers.  The Gables seems to be less touristy from other neighborhoods and there's less of a "fly by night" crowd.

What is your favorite aspect of living and owning a business in Miami?
Growing up, I was usually around a lot of Italians so it's nice to live in an area that's so diverse with cultures too.

As a business owner, I'm not perfect but I treat my staff the way I wanted to be treated. I put my heart and soul into everything I cook and my regulars know that so they keep coming back. By no means are we a corporate restaurant and we never will be, but that's the way my loyal customers and I like it.  

What is one aspect of Miami you would change to make it a better place to live and work?
They should start giving people licenses before allowing them to get on the road - ha ha! Honestly? I wish people treated each other with more respect. I see people get taken advantage a lot in this town.

Did you resonate with Marc's #ThankYouMiami story? Have you tried his incredibly delicious food? What Miami local would you like to be featured in this series? What other questions would you like us to ask? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!

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