We are so stoked to have none other than Mark Estee on the blog! We had just gotten in a TON of vintage Hawaiian shirts and were wondering, “Who has the personality and spunk to really do these babies justice?” Duh. Mark is not only a pillar in this community, but he has a great, relaxed attitude and style with a bit of spunk to keep it interesting. He was gracious enough to take some time out of his day to model some of our great vintage Hawaiian shirts and to answer a few of our most burning questions…
As one of Reno’s most well-known local celebrities, we are so honored that you would take the time to shoot with us! We all know that you are an amazing chef and have opened up some of Reno’s best restaurants, but just in case we have anyone new to town that doesn’t know of your Reno rockstar status, let us know a bit about you and what you do here in town!
I have been in the region since January 1996. I was at the Hyatt in Incline then Truckee from 1999 to 2010, and in Reno from 2010 to now! I own a few restaurants in town and in the region. They are all part of the Reno Local Food Group. Liberty Food & Wine Exchange, Liberty Events, Liberty Meats, Chez Louie, The Union in Carson City and Overland in Gardnerville.
Sounds like fun, right? It is for sure. I am a big supporter of using local food and products. I love to see our team members succeed, and it brings me great joy when they become partners, buy houses, start families and/or their own businesses!
Food is one thing that stresses me out so much because it’s hard to know where it’s coming from and how “natural” it actually is! What advice do you have for people who want to eat clean, healthy and local but also may be on a budget or need it to be convenient?
Asking questions is the best way: Where is this from? Who made this? What are the ingredients? If you get to know who you are buying from you can solve a ton of worry! I eat as clean as I can and support as much local in my life and businesses, but I also eat some pho or down-and-dirty food late at night, and I can promise you it is not local or organic!!! But at least I know! Try to strike a balance is what I suggest. Also, the Great Basin Food Co-op, in my opinion, is the best place to start. They do all the sourcing work for you!
You’re all about sustainability and keeping it local when it comes to food. We apply the same sentiments when it comes to fashion and furniture! In what ways (other than eating!) do you apply these principles in your daily life?
100% I am kinda weird about my little bubble. My friends are always like, “You only go 1 mile from where you live to do anything!” Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I like the idea that I live downtown, and I have a community that I live in and support. I am not the food police by any means; I can only suggest that we all eat as much local, healthy, simple and seasonal food as we can. No one is perfect, so as long as we try and we choose with our money, I think we will make this community better!!
We think you have great style and can pull off stuff that most guys would be hesitant about--like vintage Hawaiian shirts! Are they something you would regularly wear or at least would consider wearing now that you’ve seen how fun they are?
You are waaaayyyyyyy too kind to me! My style is no style, so that works for me. I loved the shirts I got to wear for the shoot. I am big fan of kooky socks and have about 12 pairs of purple, pink, and peach pants that I wear all the time! I am a fan of cool glasses now that I need them. I like to switch it up as most days I start at 7am and end after 11pm, so sometimes I do a quick change!!! I also think I am coming to see you and get you to style me out with some XL shirts and kick ass cool vintage duds!!