CEO, Phenomenal Foods by Chef Holly
The Art Institute of Atlanta
[My education] opened my culinary mind. So many of my creations are influenced by several different world cultures that I was first introduced to [at The Art Institute of Atlanta]. Holly Smith , CEO, Phenomenal Foods by Chef Holly Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts, 2009 , The Art Institute of Atlanta
Provides Catering Services, High-End Personal Chef Services
Holly Smith is the CEO of her own company, Phenomenal Food by Chef Holly. She is responsible for running the day to day operations of her catering business, providing high end personal chef services, planning menus, consulting for restaurants, and operating a food truck.
Holly sees the benefits of her hard work each day through the happiness of her clients. She takes pride in getting great reviews and repeat business. “It’s my absolute pleasure to make my customers happy. It’s the reward of being about to do what I love—and make a living doing so.”
She adds that creativity is important in her business. She supports her staff and chefs’ creativity by traveling together to experience food from different locations. “I take my staff to enjoy and taste all kinds of culinary delights. It enables all of us to think out of the box and blend our very different cultural backgrounds into all kinds of delectable dishes for our customers.”
Holly encourages current students to stay focused and not give up—even when things are hard. “I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to fold up under pressure but you can’t give up. Challenges will make you stronger.”
While catering keeps her on her toes, she stays grounded by keeping up with new ways to create items that work well in a catering environment. “Timing and temperature is absolutely key in my day to day operation. In order to be competitive with larger factory production catering companies, I have to not only be efficient, I have to produce a product that is far superior to my competitors’ products.”
Holly, who in 2009 earned an Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta, says that her education helped her to develop recipe creation skills. “[It also] opened my culinary mind. So many of my creations are influenced by several different world cultures that I was first introduced to [at The Art Institute of Atlanta].”
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