Mario’s CUBE in Tomāto Tomäto
“I just really want people to have excellent food,” says Mario Ochoa, 27, owner of Chef Mario’s CUBE located within Tomāto Tomäto, Omaha’s indoor farmers market.
Mario is originally from Zacatecas, Mexico, and has lived in Omaha for 20 years. A graduate of Omaha South High School and the Institute of the Culinary Arts program at Metro Community College, Mario competed and excelled in culinary competitions throughout high school and college.
Chef Mario’s CUBE, which stands for Classic Urban Bistro Eatery, opened this past April and is “doing pretty good,” according to Chef Mario. “We’ve been growing at a good pace,” he says. “We’re taking baby steps, which is awesome.”
Chef Mario’s CUBE and Tomāto Tomäto are separate business ventures but work well together because they both use the same suppliers for their food and both wish to support organic and locally sourced eating.
Chef Mario’s CUBE has a limited menu, but they prefer it to the alternative. “We can make sure that everything on that menu is there because we love it,” Mario says. The chicken panini, made with fresh, locally made bread and chicken from Plum Creek Farms is their best seller. “It’s a beautiful thing to really be able to utilize what’s local, what’s close to you,” says Mario. “You can’t really go wrong with any of our menu items.”
Mario recommends that organic and local food lovers “experiment and just try everything.” He says that “try everything” was one of the mottos he had in culinary school and firmly believes that it applies to life in addition to food. “Go to farmers markets, go to an indoor farmers market. Tomāto Tomäto is an excellent place to start,” Mario says.
—By Anna Kaminski