Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Cooking at a Beloved Siesta Institution

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Cooking at a Beloved Siesta Institution

Article excerpt

Chef and restaurateur Cynthia Breslin of Blase Cafe (5263 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota. 349-9822; theblasecafe.com) has been in the restaurant industry since early adulthood, and her passion for the culinary craft has only expanded. With the vision of her business partner, Rami Nehme, and chefs Jordan Neidenmier and Wesley Breslin, Cynthia Breslin has helped maintain the quirky character of one of Siesta Key's most beloved locales.

Q:How did working in the restaurant industry become your passion?

A:From the day I turned 18 years old, I have been bartending and working the front end of restaurants, and I was submersed in the restaurant industry for nearly 25 years before opening up the Blase Cafe. Prior to that, I grew up with a southern lifestyle, where food was a staple in keeping the family connected.

Q:What sets Blase Cafe apart from all of the other locales on Siesta Key?

A:Blase Cafe is a world of its own. Walking in the door, you find a unique collection of art, antiques and whimsical employees ready to entertain you. The personality of the restaurant is Martha Stewart meets Morticia Addams--the vibe being eclectic and sultry. Unlike most restaurants on Siesta Key, we don't follow the beach theme; we build up the blase bravado with a European flare.

Q:How has the menu been evolving to accommodate the latest food trends?

A:We have added more salads with baby kale, and we also have a Mediterranean-style salad with grilled vegetables. For a veggie burger, we use falafel (which my business partner, Rami, inspired with his Middle Eastern background) and it is outstanding. We are also doing fish tacos with sriracha coleslaw, which has become a new customer favorite.

Q:When you are not in the restaurant, how do you unwind?

A:I collect art and create it. My house and restaurant are laden with unique prints, originals, antiques and art-related literature. …

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