#DErestaurantlife – not just our newest/most favorite hashtag, but a true way of life for the 50,000+ strong that make up Delaware’s restaurant industry! We’ll be shining the spotlight on one wonderfully unique restaurant staffer each month, and asking the question, “Why Restaurants?” We know our answer, but we want to hear from YOU – what about this industry makes it a great place to work? Why do you love it? And why can’t you imagine doing anything else? Send us a message if (or someone you know) wants to be featured!

Rex Lotito, Bartender / Traveler

The Starboard & Starboard Raw

With some people (me) restaurants get in your blood; the serendipity, high energy, constant moving parts and personalities all challenge and reward at the same time. I’ve dipped into other industries and jobs (the high school drop out but went back for an MBA) but I just don’t function anywhere else. It’s inane when people deem other jobs as “ real jobs.” I travel because I don’t like being inert in any way and love to constantly learn. Traveling is learning and seeing other cultures, landscapes and the other 8 billion people. I’m always 24/7 switched on when traveling as every moment is unfamiliar. I see people in 3rd countries doing unspeakable and insane jobs for no money and that’s all they’ll ever know and have. Sooooooo, I’m grateful to have the opportunity of being 5 deep for hours “just making drinks, ordering food and listening to music” for a ton of money in comparison.

Tamara Earl / Chef Entrepreneur


The culinary arts was always the path for me. Since the age of 12 I have been in the kitchen experimenting with different foods and cooking methods. I am intrigued with creating something out of nothing. Once I found ProStart in high school (culinary curriculum at William Penn) I knew I had to be in that class! Learning about FOH and BOH really helped me see both sides of the industry….really helping me to be versatile. 

After I won the first annual CROP foundation scholarship, I knew I wanted to attend Johnson & Wales University and hone my culinary skills. I graduated and immersed myself in the industry, working at hotels and restaurants in Miami FL. I really wanted to impact my community with my gift and felt like I couldn’t do that as I was stripped of my creativity and most foods were frozen with little room to really elevate the dishes. I was so used to the farm to table style cooking, and I really wanted to continue that. Once I had my son I started to research the ingredients in foods that he was consuming. I was stunned, confused and angry that most ingredients are harmful and are currently banned in other countries. That’s when I started experimenting with food alternatives and making my own ‘cheezes,’ juices, breads etc. It clicked for me that this was my path, to bring more delicious healthy foods to my community. I developed my brand Delectablez with the mission to bring a more plant forward cuisine to Delaware. 

Since then I’ve been in the kitchen whipping up yummy ‘nature to table’ vegan foods. I have won season 2 of Aisle Trials, and received various awards and recognition as a black- woman owned business. I am now wholesaling my vegan Cheeze to select restaurants and pizzeria’s in Delaware. My pop up location has been inside DECO food hall since Feb-2022 and I have gotten lots of great feedback. I have customers that tell me I’ve made a difference in their life and that they have become more health conscious. That in itself keeps me going and wanting to bring more to my community, this is just the beginning!