Marilyn Schlossbach had no intention of becoming a chef. However, just before she headed off to college for marine biology, her mother got sick. Schlossbach stayed home and spent time working as a waitress at her brother’s restaurant in Avon, NJ. When the restaurant chef unexpectedly didn’t show up one night, Schlossbach stepped up to the plate—with no idea how to navigate a kitchen. She reminisced, “I was like alright, I know what the food on the plate should look like, but how do I get it there?”
The experience, though a tough one, changed her life and career path. Decades later, Schlossbach is a New Jersey restaurant industry veteran and has built a bit of an empire along the Jersey Shore, where she owns four restaurants, a special events venue, and a catering company.
From the 80s to Today
Despite her success, life as a female chef in the 1980s wasn’t always easy. Today, the industry is home to many more female chefs and owners than it was when Schlossbach got her start.
She talked about her connection to customers and to food. “To me, that more connected and nurturing side of women’s behavior is necessary for food,” she said. “I want to feel wanted and loved so that my food going out to the customer is wanted and loved for them.”
On the Menu
Schlossbach offers seasonal menus at her restaurants, which change three times per year. “I get a lot of inspiration from cultural food,” she said. “I like to go to the original source of the food, go to ethnic places when we travel or even locally.”
Schlossbach offers more on her menus during the summer months to cater to the influx of people. In the winter, she experiments with smaller, more intricate dishes.
Photos courtesy of Marilyn Schlossbach.