‘I NEVER BUY SHOES HERE’

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Ten quick questions for Marcos Machado, owner of Fernando’s Shoe Repair, 74 Monmouth Street, Red Bank.

What happened to Fernando? He retired and moved back to Portugal. I’ve had the shop since 1998.

You moved here in April from 4A West Front Street. Which location is better? It’s better here, because of ease of parking.

Did you go to school to learn your trade? No. My grandfather and father did shoe repair and shoemaking in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and I learned from them.

Are there occupational hazards, like swallowing hobnails? You get a cut here and there, but nothing serious.

Can you tell anything about someone’s personality from the way they treat their shoes? No.

What’s the most unusual request you’ve gotten? People sometimes bring in boots, they want me to cut off the calf or take it in. Some orthopedic work.

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In an era when people throw away expensive items when they break down, what keeps the art of shoe repair alive? Because it’s cheaper to fix them, especially if you have good shoes that are comfortable.

Do you ever make shoes from scratch? Not any more. I did in Brazil, but there’s not enough demand for it here.

What’s the one thing you look for when you buy shoes for yourself? I never buy shoes here. I buy them when I go to Brazil. Brazil and Italy are the top shoemaking countries in the world.

Which is more important, sturdy shoes or quality food? Now you got me. Quality food.

‘SMOKED EEL WITH A BOW ON IT’

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Ten quick questions for “Chef Kevin” Lynch, executive chef and manager of the cheese, dairy and bakery departments at Sickle’s Market, Little Silver.

Are you a ‘foodie’? Yes.

Which is more important, quality food or comfortable shoes? Tough question. You gotta remember that chefs are on their feet a lot. But I’m going with food.

What’s your earliest food memory? Having my grandfather come down from Jersey City and give me and my brother $100 to go to Leroy’s Fish Market on Route 36 in Middletown. He’d have us buy shrimp, crabs, lobster tails and a smoked eel. He liked smoked eel—every Christmas we’d give him one with a bow on it. This was around 1970, when I was 10. A hundred dollars was a lot of money back then.

Who was the biggest influence on your life, foodwise? My mother. She would cook something different every week—she always liked to look at recipes. I’d always make the salad when I was a kid.

What was your first cookbook? I think it was Betty Crocker. My mother still has it.

What’s your favorite cooking show on TV? I liked the PBS series, ‘The Great Chefs,’ because I thought that was very knowledgeable—it got into the nuts and bolts of it. Currently, I watch “Behind the Scenes” and “Best Of,” but once in a while for laughs I’’ll watch Emeril, or sometimes, Rachel Ray. Sara Moulton’s show I like too. She’s the executive chef for Gourmet magazine.

What’s one ingredient you couldn’t live without? Garlic!

Have you had formal training? No. I went to school for computer science down at Stockton College, and became kitchen manager and then chef at the Smithville Inn.

What’s the one junk food you can’t say no to? Pretzels.

Where do you go when you eat out? Indigo Moon in Atlantic Highlands. I know the chef there, and the owner, Janet, used to work with me at Readie’s Fine Foods in Red Bank.