This time Robert is headed down south to Port Charlotte, Florida to help out at the Cap’n and the Cowboy. This resturant specializes in steak, seafood, and tacky, outdated decor. The owner of the resturant started out as a dishwasher in his teenagers years and worked his way on up. But he seem to be lacking in knowledge, as this is the only place and the only way of doing thing the owner has even known. That is why Robert is here.

Cap’n and the Cowboy | Click here for the restaurant’s website
As Robert usually does, he asks the owner a serious of questions about the restaurant. Robert is stunned that he doesn’t know much about the finances. How can you successfully run a business when you don’t know how much money you are bringing in? The owner learned on the job, so it seems there are some lessons he just missed out on. But this is a lesson that can be brought into the home as well. Any home cook should be keeping an eye on how much they are spending on food. Every home should have a food budget. You should decide how much you want to spend each month on food and stick to it, so that you don’t overspend and also to reduce the food waste. You don’t need to necessarily budget item for item, but you should see where you are spending your money. Are you spending more money on unhealthy processed snacks, than fresh produce?

The owner wanting to save some money made some decisions that weren’t helping him such as making a crap cake with mostly filler and forming each burger patty when ordered, which wastes valuable time. I agree with what Robert said, he would rather have 1 excellent crab cake, than 2 mediocre. Mediocre food leaves us wanting more. For example if a buy cheap soda pop or cheap chocolate, I end up eating more than when I buy the higher quality stuff that satisfies me.

The Recipes

Crab Cakes | Click here for the recipe
Robert recommends a switch from back fin (claw meat) to lump crab. He uses panko breadcrumbs, which I love as they had some serious crunch you don’t get from ordinary bread crumbs.

| For more on panko, check out these posts: What are Panko Breadcrumbs?, Panko Fried Shrimp , Breaded Pork Chops, Pumpkin Tortellini Soup |

Coconut Shrimp with Mango Horseradish | Click here for the recipe
Once again, Robert breaks out the panko, combining it with coconut, served with a mango and horseradish dipping sauce.

Follow-Up
business_closed_sign_page No longer in business. Apparently the owner said the landlord was charging too much in rent and another opportunity to work at a new place lead to this resturant closing it’s door. Here is their goodbye message from their facebook page: “TO everyone that followed the Cap’n and the Cowboy and “LIKED” our page after you saw us on the Food Network, we want all of you to know that the Food Network show was very successful for us. It worked! We had huge plans and contractors coming in to finish things that were not doable in the 3 days it really did take them to change that restaurant. Our summer menu was not going to be any more expensive than 15.99, our bar was going to become fully functioning, and the restrooms were going under renovations. We had some major differences with our landlord and we refused to pay the outrageous premium that he wanted us to pay for lease monthly. We were willing to continue to upgrade the inside of our establishment yet he did not want to upgrade the exterior of his property. Paying 6K per month was outrageous for that location and an opportunity came up that I could not refuse. Now is the chance for me to grow in a new direction and do what I am best at, without the headaches of OWNERSHIP! I can put to good use the skills I learned along the way from the time I started working and make this new place better than what I had and re-invent myself once again. Tamar has been a huge help with the restaurant that we are helping to open, but due to the fact that she has 5 auto-immune illnesses (not diagnosed during show taping, she got her health figured out towards the end of 2011), she is not permitted to spend time in the restaurant business during full operation. Her severe Wheat and Gluten allergy makes it a very hard atmosphere for her immune system. She will be better off working as a personal trainer and being entrepreneurial with her ebooks etc and helping me behind the scenes. We really appreciate your loyalty and friendship and are very sorry that so many of you were not able to come try us out. Chef Irvine and the Food Network did a great job for us and I will be eternally grateful!”

I am glad to see that they found better opportunities for themselves. They left the situation with a positive attitude. Sometimes landlords can be difficult to deal with.

Restaurant Impossible Closed

If you want more Robert Irvine recipes, here are some of his available cookbooks:

This cookbook contains 111 recipes many with complete timelimes and several that are gluten free. An example of the kind of recipes you will find are Lime-Cured Shrimp and Roasted Corn Chowder, Porcini-Dusted Pork Chops with Cremini Mushrooms and Golden Raisins over Horseradish-Scented Potatoes.

In this book Robert shares his personal stories (including cooking for First Lady Laura Bush) and cooking philosophy. There are also recipes to be had like Black Angus Beef Tartare with Toasted Brioche and Fried Quail Egg, Roasted Duck with White Bean Ragout.

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I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.
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