Robert B. “Bobby” Moore
In the last three decades, Bobby Moore has racked up more successes than most people experience in an entire lifetime. Whether he’s racing offshore power boats, training and performing with his elephants or promoting his newest restaurant, Bobby Moore truly exemplifies the modern self-made entrepreneur.
In 1970, Bobby opened his first eatery at the age 20 on the Eastside of Detroit and converted it into the Keg-A-Brew Saloon which quickly became the most popular bar and grill in that part of the city.
As Bobby’s success grew, so did his indulgences. He fell in love with a new “high speed” hobby: offshore powerboat racing. He soon became one of the area’s most successful racers.
Ahead of his time, in 1975 Bobby had a new vision for a themed restaurant driven by his love for racing, The Shipping Channel Restaurant and Marina gave Bobby the opportunity to experiment with the idea of incorporating full-size racing craft (in this instance, offshore racing boats) into the interior design of a fine dining seafood restaurant. This restaurant and marina grew from 110 seats with 10 boat wells to 400 seats and 50 boat wells.
In 1981, Bobby purchased a failing local landmark restaurant and converted it to Bobby Moore’s BlindFish Seafood and Steakhouse. It quickly became one of the area’s top fine dining restaurants for over 16 years. Bobby served a six pound cut of prime rib and called it “The Elephant Cut”. Guests that were able to eat the whole piece of prime rib and everything on the plate only had to pay ninety-nine cents and Bobby would bring one of his elephants to the restaurant for the hefty eater and his friends to ride.
A successful restaurateur and accomplished racer, Bobby then decided to pursue his childhood dream of owning, training and performing with elephants. He bought his first pachyderm in 1982. With the help of the world’s greatest elephant trainer, Robert “Smoky” Jones, he learned everything he could about elephants. By 1989, Bobby’s herd had grown to 13 prize elephants and were regarded as one of the top elephant acts in the world. Before selling his elephants in 1992, Bobby and his “team” were hired to perform with the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus on its first tour in Japan.
Despite his success in this unusual field, Bobby decided to return to his true passion, restaurant design and development. In April 1992, Bobby brought his ultimate vision to life, opening the original Race Rock in the suburbs of Detroit. The racing themed restaurant was a museum for motorsports and a huge success. With a team of supporters including some of the top names in motorsports, Bobby decided to expand the concept of Race Rock to an international chain. Teaming up with racing greats Richard and Kyle Petty, Mario and Michael Andretti, John Force, Darrell Gwynn, Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Don Prudhomme, Scott Parker, Ernie Irvan and Geoff Bodine, Bobby opened the Race Rock in Orlando on February 7, 1996 and it became one of the largest grossing, most successful themed restaurants in the world.
In April of 2006, Bobby opened Beluga, an upscale seafood restaurant in Winter Park, Florida. Beluga was picked as the “Best New Restaurant” in Orlando, 2006, and “Best Seafood Restaurant” in Orlando, 2007.
December 1, 2009 on Sand Lake Road, the famous “Restaurant Row” in Orlando, Florida, Bobby opened Big Fin™ Seafood Kitchen, his greatest restaurant ever, which he designed and built along with his business partner John Bonner. Big Fin™ Seafood Kitchen has become one of the top seafood restaurants in Central Florida, serving the largest selection of fresh seafood, uniquely prepared from recipes and cooking techniques from around the Globe.
Chef James Slattery, Executive Chef
Executive Chef James Slattery has resided over Big Fin™’s kitchen since it’s opening in the fall of 2009. Prior to working at Big Fin™ he resided as Executive Chef at Circa on Park Avenue in Winter Park.
Chef Slattery’s career in the culinary world began in the late 1990’s at Emeril’s restaurant at Universal’s City Walk. Before becoming a chef, Slattery worked in sales in the chemistry field. One night in a hotel room in North Carolina he was channel surfing and happened upon the food network, a 24 hour cooking channel. It was around 8pm and a new show called Emeril Live was starting. Slattery was hooked. A year later at a book signing, Slattery met Chef Emeril and asked him what it would take to work in one of his restaurants. Chef Emeril replied “a passion for food.” After being laid off from his sales job 2 days later, Slattery was able to finagle an interview with Chef Zachary Martin and Chef Bernard Carmouche (Emeril’s opening team). Although the lack of kitchen experience showed, the Emeril’s chefs hired Slattery as a part of their opening team.
On January 18th 1999, Slattery began his new career and as he puts it, “his culinary degree.” By 2003 Slattery had advanced to sous chef and was moved to Emeril’s second Orlando restaurant Tchoup Chop at the Royal Pacific Hotel. It was here that he was promoted to Executive Sous Chef and worked until 2007.
At this time Chef Slattery moved to A Land Remembered, the steak house at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. This move was a promotion for him to Executive Chef or as Slattery states, “graduation from Emeril’s culinary school” where he oversaw this restaurant for the next several years.
Chef Slattery’s background is in chemistry, where he earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Central Florida. He uses his educational background on a daily basis in the restaurant, mixing ingredients and creating combinations of flavors for his dishes.
Chef Slattery is very proud to be a part of Big Fin™’s success in their first year of business and looks forward to continuing to prepare dishes using his chemistry background, his classical techniques and above all, his creativity.