Author Archives: blackinkdiane

blackinkdiane
A native Californian turned proud Texan, Diane is a lover of traveling, hunting, hiking, piano playing, and prank wars. She is thankful for her wine country roots, but has found her place with the happy and polite people of West Texas. She is currently attending Texas Tech University pursuing her master's degree in agricultural communications, and is interning with CAB during Fall 2017. The most important thing to know about Diane is she is always laughing - don't ask her why, because she doesn't know.
Schepisi preparing steak
On the road
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Ready For Rory?

I strain my ears as a few people wander into the kitchen of the Amarillo Country Club, pondering if those new voices match the one of chef and TV personality Rory Schepisi. “You’ll know when Rory’s here,” Executive Chef Joey Guzman assures me. Right on cue a burst of laughter erupts from the kitchen staff. “That’ll be Rory.”

The Chevy-loving New Jersey transplant certainly gets things done in a New-York-minute, but with a grace only found in Southern hospitality. We get right down to business. Schepisi grills up a CAB ribeye – “what else?” – joking with the other chefs while I snap pictures. The entire kitchen is in hysterics in a matter of minutes.

Guzman and Schepisi

Guzman and Schepisi exchange laughs in between poses.

With a charge that rivals the Energizer Bunny, her passion for cooking is contagious. “My staff thinks I’m a nut job,” she laughs. “I have a thing in my kitchen. I make my chefs sing: Happy food produces great, happy plates that we send out to happy customers.”

Schepisi and friends from West Texas Chefs Table.

Schepisi with fellow chefs and friends Christopher Kizer (left) and Jeremy Shook (right). All three chefs are part of The West Texas Chefs Table, a group dedicated to growing Amarillo’s local restaurant scene and providing scholarships to young, aspiring chefs.

Maybe it’s Schepisi’s sixth sense for food that makes this tactic work. Even affirmed well-done steak lovers flip to the rare side when they try her favorite dish, a CAB ribeye. You will always find her kitchen stocked with a CAB steak, along with her other five essentials: Chicken broth, sriracha, soy sauce, butter and eggs.

Her oxygen is knowing customers enjoy the food. “There’s nothing better than going into your kitchen, getting slammed with over 300 dinners, feeling out of control and then getting through it without one thing coming back but compliments,” Schepisi says. “It’s like winning the biggest sporting event. That’s my rush. I love it.”

plated steak

Schepisi is all smiles when she serves up a rare steak. Be warned – she is known to charge extra for well-done requests!

A successful chef requires ambition and insanity, she maintains. And people need to pay their dues to get to where they are in the restaurant business. But her lessons on tenacity extend well beyond the culinary profession. By the end of the interview, I feel empowered to conquer the world. Well, maybe just my next writing assignment.

“I’m proud I had the strength, love and courage to become who I am today,” she reflects. “I’m proud that I haven’t given up and that my dreams are still big no matter how crazy people think I am. I’ll be even prouder when I accomplish my goals. I’m stoked. I’m ready for it.”

We’re part of it now, ready for it, too.

May your goals be as big as your smile,

Diane

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