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The Chef Who Almost Wasn't

Zumm Escudier has put the Angelika Cafe back on track, but her path has been long and winding

She continued to cook and work on catering jobs, one of which provided the opportunity for Shaikh, president of Rushlake Hotels, to sample her wares. "He said, 'I have a challenge for you; the Angelika is the only one in my unit not making money,' " Escudier remembers. She rose to the challenge. Within three weeks, she had assembled much of her staff from Renata's, and it wasn't long before the Angelika was doing 150 covers for lunch.

"Thank God for Zumm," says Shaikh. "We aren't making money [in these tough times], but we haven't lost a penny, thanks to her."

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