About Amy

My wife loves to bake.  I know, you’re not surprised.

chocolatepeanutbuttercake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake for our son

What she really loves though, is making people happy and those people may be our good friends, family, our Mercedes-Benz mechanic, the people she works with or new friends…doesn’t matter.

Daniel my mechanic

Daniel, our Mercedes Benz mechanic, getting rewarded with a Tira Misu.

Years ago she learned how to make people happy by manipulating flour with butter, eggs, sugar and adding chocolate, sugar, peppermint, vanilla, pecans, Kahlua or perhaps honey.  When we started dating, we were both working at the same restaurant and she spent her days making vinaigrettes, peeling tomatoes, chopping onions and cleaning crabmeat.

1992

The two of us in 1992

As we became friends she confided that she had her heart set on a career in pastry.  When we started dating, she stalked me with cookies studded with pecans, beguiled me with brownies swirled with sweetened cream cheese, then seduced me with truffles rolled in bitter cocoa powder.  Soon after we were married she was hired by the pastry chef of the Meridien Hotel and created desserts for their signature restaurant, Henri.

Henri

The Meridien has changed hands several times over since Amy graced its hallways.

The French staff were so proud of their French pastry traditions, they would easily come to blows over an unwarranted critique of their Paris-Brest.

paris-brest

Paris-Brest pastry, it’s a pate-choux filled with almond pastry cream and toasted almonds. It’s named after a bicycle race.

And it was in this environment that my wife honed her baking and presentation skills.  Years later, after a detour into recipe development and operational management, we opened our own restaurant, 33 Liberty.

33 liberty image

For eight years we delighted and surprised diners with our devotion to Southern hospitality and fine cooking.  We received boatloads of great press, received invitations to cook in Los Angeles, Beaufort, SC and Beaufort, NC (those two names are actually pronounced differently), New Orleans and a vineyard in Australia and we were guest chefs at Disney World’s food & wine festival for five consecutive years.

DSC00572

Amy and I with Mat Garretson and Tony Keely. Spring of 2006 at the Garretson Wine Company’s “Fixin’ to Eat, A Salute to Southern Chefs”

chefs

With Robert Del Grande (Cafe Annie, Houston) and Ben Pollinger (Oceana, NYC) in Los Angeles, CA and Amy’s dessert for the Epicurean Evening

DSC00751

With Tony Keely and Anastasia at the 2005 Epcot Food & Wine Festival behind Amy’s Butterscotch Pudding Parfait.

 

DSC00793

On stage at the 2006 Epcot Food & Wine Festival

DSC00716

At the 2006 Charlotte Shout! Food & Wine festival. Martin Yan is on the Jumbo-Tron prattling on and on and on, hawking his personal line of kitchen utensils.

1-job well done

Amy and Keegan Gerhard (Food Network’s Ultimate) at the 2005 NYC Chocolate Show

lees in the kitchen

The Lee Brothers in the kitchen of 33 Liberty with Joe Cash and the bearded one, Jeff Kelly

 

It was all such great fun and we lived and breathed every bit of it, and the restaurant business is tough, even in the best of times.

.

Amy and Holly proudly showing off their soaking wet hair-dos, courtesy the log ride at Disney World

Sadly, we closed the restaurant after being devoured by the economic crisis of 2008.  We hung on as long as we could, I promise.  Why isn’t she still in the restaurant business?    Weekends, holidays, long nights and early mornings can be tough on the family.  Amy now works at our Church as the Special Events Coordinator yet she still bakes for friends and family.

peppermintbark

Peppermint Bark

And she loves to answer questions on the difference between baking powder and soda or why your cream puffs didn’t puff.

 

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: