Carmelita Jeter

How Mr. Fries Man turned his love of pastrami-topped fries into an Instagram success story

How Mr. Fries Man turned his love of pastrami-topped fries into an Instagram success story

Craig Batiste isn’t your typical culinary superstar — he doesn’t have a résumé that includes staging at any of the city’s best restaurants, he’s adamant about the fact that he isn’t a chef, and his culinary reputation is built on heaping piles of French fries topped with sautéed shrimp and lemon garlic sauce. What he does have is half of a restaurant, which he shares with a Wings N Greens in a strip mall in Gardena, and a boisterous following that includes nearly 65,000 followers on Instagram. He also goes by the name Mr. Fries Man.

On a recent Tuesday, Batiste is moving around his 5-by-5-foot restaurant kitchen, conducting an orchestra of three fryers,...

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