Todd and Cyndi Hohulin of 2 Chez Restaurant on their iconic 1970 Honda Cub, August 31, 2021. Photo by Jeffery Noble
If you’re like me, you spend a fair amount of time at restaurants. If you spend enough time to become a regular, the staff often knows a thing or two about you. But how much do we know about them? When most of us are off work and ready to unwind, they’re back in the kitchen working hard, catering to our needs with food, drink, hospitality and ambiance—and often on evenings, holidays and weekends.
Whether or not you’ve worked in the restaurant industry, any fan of Anthony Bourdain knows that amazing stories come out of those kitchens—not to mention the interesting people who inhabit them. And this issue’s interview with Todd and Cyndi Hohulin of 2 Chez is no exception. While you get to read our final (edited) conversation, so much of this material ends up on the proverbial “cutting room floor,” never to be seen again—the eternal quandary of a print publication.
So in this issue, you’ll read about how Todd and Cyndi first met and the alternate names they initially considered in place of 2 Chez. But you won’t read about the couple’s cozy Airbnb cottage near Lake Michigan, or their iconic 1970 Honda Cub. You’ll learn about Todd’s family history in fruit and vegetable gardening, but you won’t hear the heartwarming story of his adopted sister—one of three sisters from Vietnam who were adopted by three different families in Goodfield so they could stay in school together.
You’ll get an overview of their initial reaction when COVID first hit, but you won’t get all the nitty-gritty details—like their ill-fated attempt to tap into the SBA’s rapidly depleted Restaurant Revitalization Fund. At some point, I had to ask: “Did you get COVID?” The answer was no (although some of their staff did) which is pretty amazing considering all the people they interacted with over the last year and a half.
“We did what we could to keep probabilities on our side,” Todd affirms. “Cyndi is a cancer survivor… and as a chef, if I lose my taste and smell, this business is nothing. I might as well be a piano player and have my fingers cut off!” What I love most about my job is getting to know good people and hearing their stories. Todd and Cyndi Hohulin are good people, and I highly recommend a night at 2 Chez in your future! —Jonathan Wright, Editor In Chief