Culinary genius and Bravo star Chef Roble is back at it again, feeding the famous faces of party-goers all around the country. And that’s not all—he’s about to help someone get a huge jumpstart on their brilliant idea for a business. That’s right, he’s teamed up with Staples as a judge in their “Make Your Idea Happen” contest which you can enter now on Facebook for your chance to win $25,000 to get your business off the ground. Not too shabby! Also pretty awesome? Roble’s plans for the Super Bowl this weekend, Valentine’s Day next month and his brand new restaurant opening in Brooklyn, NY this year. See our interview below to find out why he’s going to be doing a lot of shopping at Staples soon!
OK!: How did you get involved with the “Make Your Idea Happen” contest?
Roble: Well I’ve been shopping at Staples since I was a teenager and when the idea came up I was on somebody’s radar at Staples, being a young entrepreneur and having a couple successful businesses and they reached out to me and told me about it and I think it’s great. I wish I had the chance to win $25,000 bucks for my idea when I first got started, you get off the ground a lot quicker. So just to be a part of something that will end up giving somebody a huge blessing like that, I’m always down to be a part of something like that, it’s good, positive stuff. So you just Like the Staples Facebook page, share your idea there in 100 words or less, and I’ll be reviewing along with two other judges, and the grand prize winner gets $25,000 and that’s a hell of a thing to win to start a business.
OK!: I liked back to school shopping so I have a positive memory of Staples in that way and the school supplies there.
Roble: I didn’t mind the back to school shopping part. I was always going there for supplies and stuff, like I was always trying to do something or create something. Nowadays there’s so much more available. You can get so much more on your trips there and especially online, you don’t have to go to as many places. Like cleaning supplies now, and lots of snacks.
OK!: The snacks are amazing. I like to go there and buy pens and Post-It’s and then a huge tub of animal crackers.
Roble: (laughs) Animal crackers, I haven’t had those in a long time. I should have animal crackers and like, Nutella .That sounds like a good combo. I’m not sure if they have Nutella at Staples, I’m gonna look it up right now. YES! They do have Nutella at Staples, that’s awesome. I wont get any work done though, I would just eat that.
OK!: Lets talk about the new restaurant, it’s opening this summer?
Roble: The restaurant is yet to be named but I do have a location pinned down. It’s in Williamsburg, a part of Brooklyn with great restaurants. It’s in a brand new space and we’re looking to open in late/spring early summer of this year. It’s gonna be a fun, social, casual dining restaurant, shared plates. We’ll have great music. Probably some live music and we’ll always have a DJ there for sure.
OK!: Where are you now in the planning? Are you working on the menu, the appliances, etc.?
Roble: In the front of the restaurant, what the customer sees, we’ve purchased all the furniture, it’s on its way here now. But in the office and the prep areas, we haven’t purchased any of that. But this is the absolute truth, we’re gonna go to Staples for that, for my supplies, and animal crackers and Nutella. That happens at Staples. That’s going to happen in April or May and we’re looking to open in June.
OK!: You have to put the animal crackers and Nutella on the menu.
Roble: Yeah it’s done. Done deal.
OK!: Will we see another season of the show?
Roble: Well, we’re negotiating that right now. I hope we can work something out, I think we will but you’ll definitely be seeing parts of the restaurant on television. I’m actually out in LA now for TV stuff and to cater a few events. It’s really fun because now I get to do it all over the country. I’m doing something in almost every major city in America this year. And some of them twice. Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Philly, D.C.. All of them. There’s lot of chefs that are noteworthy or “celebrity chefs”, but none of them are caterers so that puts me in my own lane and that’s how I approach business too, like why compete when you can do something different?
OK!: Will having the restaurant in Brooklyn anchor you to NY and affect your traveling to cater or not so much?
Roble: Yes in the beginning it will. When you open a restaurant, you pretty much live there for the first three months so I’m carving out time for that. But I have a great support structure, great people that work with me, so we’ll get it on autopilot and I won’t have to live there but basically will for the first three months.
OK!: Will you invite The Real Housewives of New York ladies to come dine there?
Roble: Oh I’m going to invite all of them. People travel a lot, even like the Atlanta Housewives, I see them all the time. I see them in LA, Atlanta and New York. Kandi is actually in New York doing a play off-Broadway, and I went and it was awesome. It was so good, I was blown away. I brought three friends with me and we had a blast. I met Fantasia there, she’s great. But yeah everybody’s invited, if you’re in town come see Roble at my new restaurant.
OK!: With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, any snacks you like to put your own Roble spin on?
Roble: I’m doing something fun. On Super Bowl I have two events. The morning of, I’m doing a charity event for City Harvest which they collect food from places with a surplus and give it to people who really need it so nothing goes to waste. I love that initiative. So I’m doing that the morning of the Super Bowl and during the game, I’m catering a party for John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. I do a lot of stuff for them, they were on my show for her birthday. She’s so much fun. So she called me to do her Super Bowl party and said “Hey do whatever you want but I want to have Frito pies.” I love Frito pies. It’s gonna be a blast and Frito pies are fun, I love them and now I get paid to make a Frito pie so I’m going to make the best Frito pie ever. Let’s see if they have Fritos at Staples. Yup they got Fritos and they got the Chilli Cheese Fritos! I’ll do regular Fritos but yeah, they even have the big bags! Maybe I should buy them from Staples online instead of going to the grocery store.
OK!: Make sure you get extras to save some for yourself.
Roble: Oh, you know that. I’ll be eating Frito pies for a few day after the Super Bowl. And since Chrissy gave me the idea for the Frito pies, I’m going to serve them at the charity event that morning too! I’m like, I’m already making Frito pie, I might as well make enough for the daytime and for Chrissy’s house.
OK!: When the Frito pie runs out just in time for Valentine’s Day, do you have any desserts for that day you like to make? Is it all about the chocolate?
Roble: Chocolate and fun stuff because who knows where you’re going to end up. Whipped cream is always a good thing. Strawberries. Oh, chocolate fondue. I think they sell those at Staples too! Those fondue machines. You can melt chocolate into it and then have graham crackers, marshmallows, fruit and just dip it in there. Let’s see if they have it at Staples, I’m gonna check real quick. Yes. They sell the chocolate too! They have the fondue chocolate, they have a freaking chocolate fountain, that’s awesome. They have Belgian dark chocolate, this is the good stuff too. Oh and they have a little chocolate dipper too that’s perfect for two people. Easy!
Be sure to follow Roble on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest updates from him including his new line of wines coming soon, women’s fragrance due out in the spring and of course the big restaurant opening early summer.
To enter the “Make Your Idea Happen” contest, be sure to visit the Staples Facebook page!
What is your favorite Super Bowl snack? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @OKMagazine.