Introduction to my love for F&B
I can’t tell you how many private messages I have recieved on what I do, and where it all began. So I will try my best to tell you.
Coach S. went around the room and asked us what we wanted to do after High School. I am not sure if I was being a smart ass and said something like I am going to become a DR. or if I said I didn’t know. Sorry for being a pain, coach. To be honest I am not sure what I had in mind for my future at that point. I worked as an assistant at a title office for a summer, helped my mom with her events, and I was a cashier at H-E-B. I had been out of Texas a total of 3 times. I had a craving for a better life, but I just never knew exactly what I was craving! Let me remind you… I’m not a princess and this isn’t a fairytale. My small town was all I knew!
I ended up staying with my mom in Floresville and going to San Antonio community college. I had a 2005 Kia Rio that was a POS. I laugh now, but I would frequently find myself on the side of the highway in that car until my dad saved me. I was often late and around this time my mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I will not get into that, but I needed a job that made sense to my schedule so I started looking downtown San Antonio. I fell in love with the architecture of a building called the Omni La Mansion Del Rio. I walked in and there is this amazing spiral staircase in the lobby. It was easily the nicest place I had EVER been in. A day later I picked up a book on restaurants and hotels, and I applied for a server position at the hotels 4 diamond American restaurant, Las Canarias. Being that I had very little server experience, and I had zero hotel experience I didn’t even get a call back. But I wanted to work there! I needed to! So I then applied for a Dining Room Attendant position, meaning I would essentially be assisting the servers. I got the job!
I went to school at 8AM; once classes were over I would often study at a coffee shop or walk around what is now the ever-evolving Pearl District. If I was really tired I’d drive to a parking garage, sleep in my car, and go to work at 3:30PM. I got off anywhere from 10PM –12AM and did it all over again the next day. I was a River Rat ya’ll! River Rat=work on the river walk. I worked with the most amazing people. They had traveled all over the world, spoke several languages, and knew all about good food and wine. At this point I had never tried a brussel sprout, and didn’t know the difference between a focaccia and baguette. I fell in love with this place, and they fell in love with me. Can I say that? Damn right I can. From the front of house to back of house they called me princess. Except our Exec Chef or my Manager laugh out loud they did not call me that. That would be weird.
I was a dining room attendant, and a food runner and I worked sooo hard you guys… ask Mickey. I loved being a food runner, because I was ALL IN It. Especially on a Saturday night in the fall. I still love me some kitchen action! I remember watching my Chef try the butternut squash every single day. Confused, like are you hungry? Is this your every day snack? Your start of shift pick you up? I finally built up the courage to ask Chef why he did that. He said “consistency.” He gave me a plastic spoon and told me to try the soup. The next day he asked me to try it. And the next day he asked me to try it. You get the point… and some days it tasted different! I learned so much from the most talented people in San Antonio. I could go on and on but that is for a later post.
I wiped plates, I memorized dishes, and I learned about the wines (learned about them but could not yet drink) that paired best with these dishes. I watched desserts being created like I had never seen before. I felt spoiled, and these dishes weren’t even being made for me! I asked question after question after question. I admired all of these people I worked with, and I still do. I fell in love with this industry, and I finally had an Idea of what was next for me.
I feel like it is OK to not have it all figured out. I think that in regards to any stage of life. Things change. We change. And I felt so much pressure from people who had no idea what growing up like myself was. So many things they cant relate to, and I can’t relate to. I do know that whatever it is your doing in your current stage of life, as long as you are trying the best you can…. then you good! I guarantee half my class said one thing when Coach S asked us that, and they are doing something else these days and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Its just life. Your path is yours, and mine is mine. There is no mandatory road map that we need to follow no matter what anyone says. Lastly, appreciate those you’ve met along the way because I guarantee you, you’ve learned a thing or two from them.
Call to action: Thank your co-workers who listened to you vent & cry, answered your questions, and supported you when you got in trouble. lol
Post dedication and a big thank you for making me better:
Martha, Brahim, Rick, Ulysis, Miguel, Kevin, Hector, Sarah, Derwin, Efrain, Ali, Jessica, Ruben, Jackie, Sergio, Jorge, Lily, Claudia, Frank, Angela, Esther, Chef Alec, Nadeer, Chef John, Chef Kaelin, Chef Jose, Chef Chris, Chef Liz, Chef Joe, Chef Robbie, Chef Isaac, Chef Janice, Chef Gary, Chef Ernie, Chef Carlos, Chef Kat, Chef Jose, Sandra, Symantha, Kristen, David, Kendal, Perla, Chef Andre, Chef Danny, Nicola, John, Luis, Calvin, Jose, Lucy, Justin, Caleb, Julia, Sue, Jessica, Ina, Susan, Karen, Mel, Rob, Erin, Michael, Chef John H., Chef Pyles, Chef John, Chef Ashby, Michelle, Cory, Manny, Tara, Javi, Dakota, Sarah, David, Nancy, Mary, Doreen, Mike, Michael, Arturo, Leslie, Sami, Javi, Philippe, Gabriela, JR, Trevor, Dillon, Lisa, Sarah, Jessica, Jana, Daniel, Maria, Chef Frank, Arthur, Leonard, Jorge, Kara, Rachel G., Rachel Sweets, Nicole, Robert, Marcus, Jay, Patrick, Rachel, Aiden, Sarah, Michelle, Jason, Kori, Ray, Lisa, Kevin, Katie, MC, Chef Will, Chef Keith, Paul, Jose, Dillon, Dwayne, Matt, Donna, Alex, Tien, G, Jeffrey, Camille, Brian, Jason, Jade, Rockzana, Marissa, Christie, Abbie, Claire, Melissa, Alexa, John, Analise, Liv, Gabby