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I am happily married to my husband Scott. We are the proud parents of Brandon 26, Hayley 18, Ryan 16, Emily 14, and Daniel 8. I work full time as a chef/house mom at Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at Kansas State University.
In 2006, I opened a small coffee shop cafe in downtown Manhattan, Kansas. It was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. I designed it, and after architects and engineers worked their magic, my husband built it. The building was over 100 years old and we gutted it down to, well in some parts, nothing. It truly became the place in my dream. We served a light breakfast and lunch, but in my opinion, the best espresso and coffee in the area. We used PT's Coffee, which is some of the most superior coffee in the world....no kidding! They one Roaster of the Year 2009. After 3 years of some really good times as well as bad, I had to make some tough decisions. My husband needed to travel regularly for work, and I needed to lighten my load. I sold everything and closed the doors. Then, in some Divine twist of fate, the day before my phone service is to end, I get a call from a former catering client asking about catering for a fraternity. Long story short, I am now cooking up a storm for 36 Phi Delts in the middle of The Flint Hills. And what makes it so awesome, is that I get paid, they love my food, and they tell me everyday! Win-Win all around!
At work, I am blessed with some open minded young men willing to try just about anything. I have an assistant, Aubrey, who is a high school senior and involved in a culinary program called Pro Start. She began working with me at 4th Street Cafe when she was 15 years old. She baked for me. Now, 18, she and I work together in cahoots to feed these hungry boys the most delicous made from scratch meals and desserts ever.
I love to cook with lots of flavor...I am not a formally trained chef, so I am sure I could learn so much more, but I believe there are a food combinations that turn average food into an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Many of these flavors I have experienced in excellent restaurants, while others I stumbled upon while experimenting.
My favorite dish I make is my Angel Hair Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce and Italian Sausage. This would be the one I am famous for as well.
My favorite restaurant for the best food I have ever tasted might very well be a small pizza joint in Oklahoma City called Wedge. They serve pizza the way it should be, a beautiful crust, fresh ingredients, and flavor out of this world. It's simple but amazing.
Also, in OKC, is another fantastic little place called Saturn Grill. I had a grilled salmon salad, served with beautiful baby greens, salmon cooked to perfection, and it was $9. Again, fantastic flavor.