It’s true. Carpe Vino has always seemed to attract immensely qualified, over-the-top professional staff—in both the back and front of the house (kitchen and dining room, to be abundantly clear). People love working in the “Friendly Confines”, and we love them back.
Though some Carpe Vino staffers have been with us for nearly a decade and many have abundant fans, how much do we really know about them? Our new column, 18 Questions, will help change that. Starting today, and continuing in future editions, we’ll ask our peeps the same 18 questions with the goal of revealing more about each of them. Plus we’ll illustrate each column with a photo of our staffer out of uniform (in most cases, but not all).
Up first is Ada Campos, our indestructible and unflappable restaurant manger.
1. Position and start date: Restaurant Manager, February 14, 2007
2. Birthplace: El Salvador, “Central America”
3. Family: Are you married, engaged, children. . .? Single with two furry, four-legged children.
4. How did you get started in the hospitality business; where else have you worked? I first entered the industry as a hostess at the age of 18 and have been working in the industry since.
5. College or formal hospitality training: I’m a graduate of the CIA in Hyde Park, New York with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts management.
6. The part of your job you like best: I like being in charge and to orchestrate (the puzzle and the rush) each evening and knowing every night will be different.
7. If you ran this joint, what would you change? I wish we could also have a restaurant POS. (Note: “Point of Sale system, a computerized cash register and inventory manager.)
8. The book on your nightstand is: Touching the Void: It’s about two friends who summit a peak in the Peruvian Andes and are struck with tragedy during the descent and one of them is faced with the decision to cut the rope; every alpinist’s worst nightmare. Miraculously they both survive.
9. What do you do for fun? Are you involved in any sports? I run and participate in races. I hike with my mutts, mountain bike, a little rock climbing and more recently I have started mountaineering and climbed Mt. Rainier last year. Hoping to summit three peaks this year!
10. What’s your passion? Food: I live to eat. I am extremely fortunate and grateful to be able to dine at fine establishments but certain events in my childhood have also made me appreciate the most simple meals and ingredients. You can’t really understand food if you can’t appreciate both ends of the spectrum.
11. In five years, I’ll be. . .: In five years I will be living in a different city and maybe be a mother.
12. Favorite Carpe Vino dish: Favorite Carpe dish is too hard of a question for me. I can’t narrow it down to one especially because each season brings something new.
13. Favorite restaurant, other than Carpe Vino: Waterbar in San Francisco. Nothing says Sunday, Funday like a couple dozen oysters, a Bloody Mary, and the view of the bay bridge and across to the east bay.
14: Favorite wine: Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé. There may not always be food in the fridge but there’s always a bottle of bubbles.
15: What would we be surprised to learn about you? I listen to classical music while I run, love the ballet and the Wu-Tang Clan.
16. What do you like best about living in the Foothills? The best thing I love about living in the foothills is the access to the canyon and the endless trails for hiking, biking and running.
17. What one quality of yours do you think makes you most successful at your job? The tenacity to make every night a successful night because at the end of the day, I’m ultimately responsible.
18. Who in the whole world inspires you most and why? I know this may sound cliché but my Mother inspires me the most. At the age of seven is when I learned and truly understood that she would never let me down and that she would always be there for me. She taught me to be a strong, independent woman and to appreciate my family, which is the core of who I am today.