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Omaha Magazine

Kitchen Manager Dustin Vrana

May 29, 2020 02:53PM ● By Tara Spencer
Dustin Vrana of Spezia closeup

Dustin Vrana
Kitchen Manager 
Spezia on 72nd Street

Dustin Vrana, 37, was nominated by former coworker Lynnsey Lyden through Facebook messenger, and roundly seconded by Spezia’s event coordinator, Wendy Becker, who wrote: “He is the BEST I’ve ever seen at sauté. He can run 12 burners; it’s kinda ridiculous!”

It’s no wonder he’s a wiz, considering he has been cooking since age 11. “My interest started when I began making pizza from scratch with my uncle. It progressed from there.”

Vrana has worked at Harrah’s Casino, Colton’s Wood Fire Grill, Kona Grill, Omaha Prime, Omaha Field Club, and Bebo’s. He said his favorite part of the job is, well, everything.

“What I like most about my job is the employees, cooking, purchasing, inventory, and satisfying guests. I enjoy the logistics of a restaurant and I have grown quite fond of multitasking.”

He adds that he rarely dines out, because he finds preparing his own meals so gratifying. However, it’s doubtful that cooking for himself at home is satisfying his passion.

“I’m slightly a workaholic and used to working 50 hours a week. Waking up and having no place to be is a big change of pace. I have only missed three days of work in the last 15 years and have only been on one vacation during this time period,” adding in a followup interview, “Even when I broke my rib, I showed up to work.”

Hopefully, his hobbies help him stay busy. “I’ve been frequently kayaking, biking, walking my two dogs, flying my stunt kite and drone, jogging, playing tennis, frisbee golf, and cooking more from scratch,” he said. “I’ve been building a privacy fence at home, which is important because staying productive and the sense of accomplishment is mentally healthy.”

This article was printed in the June 2020 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.