Brown: Hang in there. Keep at it. I had a very nice, very expensive education, and I still waited on tables for eight years. I had times where I thought, 'Why didn't I have a safer major, one where I could get a job paying me 75K straight out of school?' I had my attitude in my early 20s that if it wasn't happening easily, maybe I don't deserve it. That's not true at all. You really have to keep at it. I'm still close with a lot of my waiter friends because you get to know each other very well!
CNN: What are some of your most memorable restaurants?
Brown: I love Tommaso's in Brooklyn and then going to see the Christmas lights in Dyker Heights. The man who owns the restaurant (Tommaso Verdillo) and breaks into song went to Juilliard for voice.
There was a place (Leo's) in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, up in the hills. In the morning, you would see the man that owned it jump off a rock to get the fresh catch of the day. One of the things he serves a lot is barnacles, which look like talons but taste as good as lobster. There are plastic tables and no electricity.
He serves you the freshest plate of raw and cooked fish, and it's like $6 a plate. There is also a beautiful hotel there, where my husband and I always want to go back, called La Casa Que Canta or "The House That Sings." It's on the cliffs. You have your own infinity pool. It is unbelievable.
The place where I knew my husband was the guy was Gabrielle Hamilton's place Prune (in New York). We had homemade burrata on bread, and I remember looking at him and thinking, "He's the guy I'm going to marry."