A high tide lifts all boats

A symbiotic relationship exists between businesses that is mutually beneficial for all participants. Everyone gains from mutual cooperation. Although this is a term commonly used in biology, it is increasingly used in the business community to explain how important cooperative relationships are to growth and prosperity.


Chef Dave Heide, Liliana’s Restaurant, Madison


Toni Jakovec:  Hello Chef.  Tell me, how did this wonderful relationship with vomFASS begin?

Chef Dave Heide:  The architect that designed Liliana’s was also the architect for vomFASS on University Avenue in Madison.  When Liliana’s opened, our architect gave me a gift card to vomFASS.  I let this gift card sit in my drawer for over a year.  Fortunately, I was talking to a customer one night and the topic of vomFASS came up.  I remembered the gift card and visited the shop where I tried everything and was totally wowed!

TJ:  Do you have a favorite “go-to” vomFASS product?

CDH:  In fact I have several favorites.  We use the vomFASS Grape Seed Oil and vomFASS Aceto Balsamico di Modena Maletti regularly.  There are also several other products we use seasonally.  For example we have built a dish around the vomFASS Star Blueberry Balsamic.  This dish features pan seared salmon, haricot vert, roasted sweet potatoes and we made a blueberry gastrique using crushed blueberries and the vinegar to drizzle over the salmon.

TJ:  Would you say knowing about vomFASS has changed the way you cook?

CDH:  Well, I will say that it is great having access to such high quality products.  I think a chef is always looking for the highest quality ingredients and that’s exactly what vomFASS offers.  I go into vomFASS all the time and taste new products and I have always been surprised and excited by the quality and the variety.  When you try products with such unexpected flavors it’s hard not to be inspired.  Just trying the variety of balsamics, each with such differing flavor profiles, is an eye-opening experience.   I love being able to try everything.

TJ:  Do you currently have any items on your menu that feature vomFASS products?

CDH:  Yes, the Tomato Bruschetta features vomFASS Maletti Balsamic.  This is an amazing small plate option and the Maletti just makes everything pop.

TJ:  I know your relationship with vomFASS goes past just using the products.  You are also the restaurant used for important dinners given by vomFASS.  Since you have been hosting these dinners, I understand that you have never duplicated a menu.  What drives that kind of creativity?

CDH:   Well, the seasons definitely influence the menu.  But, for me personally, I just don’t want to do the same thing over and over.  It’s important for me to always keep learning.  I suppose I could have just easily settled on three successful dishes and used them for each vomFASS event, but then I would never become a better chef.  My kitchen wouldn’t be challenged and neither would I.  Plus it is always exciting to feature different vomFASS products into new and exciting dishes.

Upon a little investigation, I found that Chef Dave’s talents do not end in the kitchen.  When speaking to Alayne Gardner-Carimi, vomFASS Franchise Sales Manager, she offered this great insight into Chef Dave.  In addition to running one of Madison’s most successful restaurants, he is also the creative genius behind vomFASS’ Hot Pepper Vodka.  Chef Dave developed this exciting vodka, steeped with 8 different peppers, for use in Liliana’s Bar.  Frustrated with the labor intensive process, Chef Dave approached Nick Quint, proprietor and chief distiller for the Yahara Bay Distillery.  Quint agreed to distill the vodka, and vomFASS was so impressed with the spirit, that it is now sold in vomFASS shops.

The cooperative relationships between Liliana’s Restaurant, vomFASS and Yahara Bay Distillery, exemplifies a business symbiotic success story.  Each business has contributed to the creativity and success of the other.



Disclaimer: This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states in the United States regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.