Women is...: Lucia Watson Restaurateur, Chef & Sommelier

Lucia Watson Restaurateur, Chef & Sommelier

Who She Is: Owner of Lucia's, an upscale, Lucia Watsonuptown restaurant recently named one of Minneapolis's best by the StarTribune food critic.

Born: 1954

Education: On the job, with periodic chefs' seminars and wine-tasting classes.

Following Your Passion: "I love food -- I love to eat it; I love to cook it. And I love the business. There's a wonderful camaraderie in restaurants that makes me feel so at home."

Getting Started: Lucia launched her restaurant on Valentine's Day 1985, and worked 80- to 90-hour weeks for many months.

Advice to Future Restaurateurs: "Find a restaurant you admire and go to work there. Then do everything, from dishwashing to waiting tables to cooking. And while you're doing that, find out everything you can about how to run a business."
Downside to Being Your Own Boss: "Tough hours, certainly [she currently works six days and at least 45 to 50 hours a week]. And you can never rest on your laurels. In this business, you're only as good as that meal you set down in front of a particular customer on a given day."

It's Worth It: "The best thing about my job is that it requires spontaneity at all times. There is high value placed on thinking on your feet."

Future Entrepreneurs: "Widen your expectations of what is success. Do research on companies and be smart enough to know that you can shop around and find a place that's good for you."