The difference between a baker and a chef, according to Avi Sekerel, is that a baker is a chemist and a chef is an artist.
“There are no rules for a chef,’’ said Sekerel, owner of Prosecco Café at PGA Commons in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Saquella Caffè in Boca Raton. “A chef thinks outside the box.’’
Israeli-born Sekerel, who trained as chef in Switzerland and the U.S., doesn’t just think outside one box – he thinks outside several boxes.
And when you think outside the box, you get breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner menus at Prosecco Café that includes items such as the Balsamic “Beni” Bowl with two eggs, spinach, beets, asparagus, goat cheese, hollandaise and balsamic sauce; an unbelievably good Nova Salmon croissant; a Mediterranean Sampler plate with Hummus, Falafel, Tahini, Tomato Salsa and Pita bread; and a “One Eyed’’ Buffalo Burger with sunny-up egg, house sauce and melted Brie cheese and a grilled Challah bun.
Want something with a bit more protein? The 10-ounce “Chairman’s Reserve,’’ NY Strip is a great dinner choice, as is the Pistachio Crusted Cod.
Sekerel sticks with a strict “No Fry” and “No Processed Food” policy on each menu.
Sekerel opened Saquella Caffè 12 years ago and in 2010 moved north to open Prosecco Café, which is a combination bakery, gelato shop, café (even non-coffee drinkers will love his coffees) and restaurant.
The paintings on the walls near the entrance to Prosecco Café show customers the progression of how they go to from the bakery (which produces perhaps the biggest scones you’ve ever seen) to gelato and expresso café to the bar and finally the restaurant dining room.
“We have a lot of niches,’’ Sekerel told over a recent Sunday brunch.
The key managing it all?
“One word: ‘Passion,’’’ Sekerel said. “If people don’t have passion they don’t work for us.’’
That passion was on display when Sekerel showed me the proper way to stir a Prosecco Café cappuccino.
“The thing about cappuccino is that Starbuck’s has allowed us to charge more for it,’’ Sekerel said. “They kind of opened that market. But they don’t know how to make coffee. A cappuccino should not be scalding hot. If you make it scalding hot you break the milk and it separates. When it separates, you get a very watered down coffee with some dry foam on top of it. That’s not cappuccino. Cappuccino should like drinking tiramisu.
“We’re very particular about everything we do here.’’
It shows in the passion – and the food.