clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Daniel Serfer of Blue Collar

Photo Courtesy of Bill Wisser

Blue Collar is a dining wunderkind in Miami, where a cook's cook serves people's food with the utmost precision and gluttonous perfection. Blue Collar's kitchen is masterminded by chef Daniel Serfer, a Miami native who outfitted the place with the requisite greasy spoon sticky floors, prefab stainless steal walls, and thermos-snug coffee. From a seedling idea to daily execution, chef Daniel helms a hardworking restaurant that is churning out comfort American staples made with love and satisfaction that hasn't been tasted in decades. His day begins like any other working American's as he walks into his office that is the expanse of Blue Collar Restaurant...

— Aleksandra Marcotte
10-10:30a Mornings

-Arrive at Blue Collar.
-Check with Prep man on the daily braises, ribs and parms. His life is more interesting than mine. Sometimes he gets to Blue Collar at 5am to get cooking on these 3 items. I've known him since Chef Allen's when I started out cooking and was just an intern. He's an awesome 60 year old Haitian man that I confer with first thing every morning. Now that I sign the checks he listens to me...sometimes.
-After checking in with him, I get on the phone and fix any problems that have come up, mostly with vendors.
-I start setting up my station by 11:30.

11:30a-3:30p Lunch Service

-We serve lunch daily and brunch every weekend so I'm cooking by 11:30 in the morning every day.
-We'll also chop, dice, and prep for dinner service, getting as much done for veggies, beans, lentils as we can.
-For good measure, my first freak out happens by the end of the lunch service. Even if there haven't been any problems I'll freak out at the front of the house just to keep everyone on their toes. Being a smaller operation, there are blurred lines between the front of the house and the back of the house. There's a huge unity here that really makes us a neighborhood restaurant. All our staff, including myself, lives less than 2 miles away.
-Everyone here works doubles so once lunch is over, we go out back and take a cigarette break. I stopped smoking but I have an electronic cigarette these days.


-I start the orders for the next day for everything but seafood. We get deliveries every day but Sunday, when just our bread man comes. I talk to my prep guy again too after lunch.


-I'll go home around 4ish every day to walk my dog, Bacon, sneak a 20 minute nap, and shoot the shit with my wife.
-I'll make more phonecalls about looking for new spaces for a second something in the works.


-I'm back at Blue Collar and start tightening up for dinner service.
-I'll smoke more electronic cigarette.

6p Dinner Service

-It's ball to the walls time. As soon as 6:00 rolls around, guests are out the door and we're solid busy. We rock out til about 10 on weekdays, and 11ish on weekends. We don't have any definitive times because we get so busy or so tired or so slammed so I like using "ish" as a measure of the hours here.


-We close up dinner service whenever it's time to and clean up for the next day.
-I get on the phone again and make the fish order.
-When everything is set, we'll all hang out and shoot the shit. We'll have our shift drink and I'll smoke more electronic cigarette.
-It's become daily routine to also spend special quality time with one of our guys, John. We'll talk to John, or pet or snuggle with him. John has a shirt with a picture of his cat, Pizza, on it. We like food-baptized pets around here.


-I go home around 11:30ish. I'll shoot the shit with my wife and walk Bacon again.
-My wife and I started watching Dallas, the original season, so that's the last thing I'll do these nights before going to bed.


-I remember orders, usually seafood orders, I forgot so I'll wake up in a panic and put them in.