Being one of 7 children there was always a large focus on family meals together. As my grandmother was the dietician at William and Mary in the 1930’s, she laid a strong foundation for my mother’s appreciation for feeding the soul. Growing up we were all responsible for helping with family meals which occurred every evening. Our family travels reached from Africa to Europe and South America.
My father worked for the United Nations which many times required our parents to live outside the country. My oldest sister was a flight attendant for Pan Am allowing us to travel extensively with her. The weeks spent traveling throughout Europe gave me an intense love of good food, good wine and great family time. These are the things I hope to share with friends at 501. After graduating from William Woods College, with degrees in Equestrian Studies and Accounting, I ventured into another love, horses. Having grown up competing in equestrian events I thought it would become my future. However, marriage and children were all-consuming and left little time for the horses. After having our third child I thought I would enjoy being a stay at home mom……I was lost. I decided that I would attempt a little lunch spot in Edmond. Artisan breads were just making their way from Europe to the west coast and I learned that American chefs were traveling to France to learn their techniques. I had a great appreciation for the old methods of bread making, allowing for long fermentation times to develop flavors naturally. A chef I was not, but I knew I could “wing” it. With the help of my husband, Peter, I was able to attend the prestigious Ecole Lenotre outside of Paris for a formal education in Artisan breads. I believe the attitude of the instructors was that no woman would undertake a career in what the French assumed was a man’s world. Being the only woman in my classes, I quickly learned I would have to work harder than the rest. This only prepared me for what was to become 18 hour work days in addition to being a mom of 4 children. The location couldn’t have been better, 3 blocks from home and a donut shop going out of business that couldn’t move their 80 quart mixer because it was too heavy! That was 21 years ago…..we have been blessed with the best children anyone could ever ask for and I am even able to share my love of horses with our daughter. My travels are devoted to exploring new food and wine experiences to share with our 501 family.
The restaurant business is the ultimate people business. It is as much about understanding the reason a customer has selected a spot to dine as it is about creating and serving a magnificent product. The fact is, these two go hand in hand. For this reason, we take our training programs very seriously. We will never thrust a ‘neophyte’ on to a patron until they have gone through extensive development and have a succinct understanding of the task at hand.
To apply please visit one of our family of eateries.