making my own bowl of cereal by three years old must have made a strong impression. when i was seven years old i made my parents their first "amanda gourmet meal" consisting of hot dogs, canned green beans, garlic bread, and of course kraft mac and cheese.
thank god for steve sloan, god love him--he forced me to get my first job the day i turned 14. i took on a position at the hereford house in lawrence kansas, basically doing bitch work, but i got to be around smokin hot college guys, eat free brunch on sundays while making $10.00 per hour. their scratch made ranch changed everything, a pivotal moment in my life (i literally can't get enough, this can make or break your establishment for me). i kept that position for almost four years, but when doug asked me to clean the trash cans on a sunday and pointed out the places i missed vacuuming i said f it.
towards the end of high school carol and steve encouraged me to get another job, because cheerleading, school and life weren't enough. i started working at wheat state pizza, they put me behind the counter, most likely the owner thought i couldn't handle putting together a pizza and sticking it in an oven. i was too occupied with smoking in the walk in and eating sylas and maddys ice cream anyways.
after high school graduation i moved to the most amazing town in kansas, fort scott. luckily i was able to get a scholarship for cheerleading and took that year to focus on kentucky gentlemen and gain a new addiction of smoking menthols, woof. that could have ended up better.
just one year went by and i moved back to lawrence, tuckaway apartments were prime real estate. i moved in with two friends, one of which remains a lifelong friend who i would take a bullet for. kyle and evan were next door & had some naismith guy as their 3rd wheel. it was basically perfect.
i walked into heavens doors when i applied at 23rd street brewery. (GABF award winning beer) i could write for days about the experience i gained, family i made and memories that will last forever. i was crossed trained in every position of the place for seven years. i even cooked on a train.. yes a moving train in kansas, fing terry louis. if i was only 19 again.
my appearance at six mile tavern was brief, enough said. tonic opened creative doors for me, i was able to train new employees and create menus while adopting a new amazing family. shot shot shot. those employee parties though, yikes.
i left 23rd street to gain some corporate restaurant exposure. while attending culinary school everyone talked about the room for growth and financial opportunities within corporate restaurants as opposed to locally owned. i was approached by burgerfi (all natural, grass fed burgers, actually pretty bomb food) about a management position in leawood kansas, they planned to open another location in lawrence and needed someone to oversee both properties.
you probably will never see me in a fast casual restaurant unless i am hungover.. and running one is not as easy as you think. two weeks of training in florida kicked my ass. 12 hour workdays with a half day off is not ideal. i managed to get through it. i helped open both locations, worked 60 hours a week, hired 130 people, saw some really really weird shit and told off one of the owners. whoops. a little over a year later my work was done. sadly 17 years in lawrence came to an end.
now two years removed from the industry, i now know what a network engineer is, how to sell IT consulting services, dress a tad bit more professional & know that it is possible to bullshit your way through most conversations if need be. still all i can think about is food and beverage, please keep feeding me.
my parents could have supported me throughout the years but they thought i would benefit later in life by cutting me off at 18. i worked full time since the age of 19 and completed the culinary program when i was 23. the long days and late nights finally caught up to me. once my grandma said "aren't you going to get spider veins from being on your feet all day" .. no i just gained a passion and obsession with creating menu's, eating great food and learning about every alcohol possible. i promise my cocktails are better than most.
so no, im no bourdain or giada, my boobs are better. but i know what i am talking about when it comes to eating out. i have to take advantage of that since i do very few things that great!