Raised in a family that often gathered for social meals, Amanda J. Smith picked up an interest in cooking at an early age. Later, she cultivated her talents at Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando and studied under chefs such as CulinAero's Doug Kieley, who she names as a mentor. After deciding to launch her own business, Amanda outfitted a mobile catering trailer with a gourmet kitchen capable of food preparation onsite at parties or during highway drag races.
"I have everything I need at my fingertips to create all kinds of fresh, flavorful meals," she told Southern Family magazine this year. Those meals range from bacon-wrapped beef tenderloins and ornate spreads of sliced ham to petite cheesecake bites topped with berries. Amanda also sets up culinary stations at events so guests can select their own hors d'oeuvres or sample sweets arranged around a chocolate fountain.
ABC Bartending School invites budding cocktail chemists to gain hands-on experience, mixing, stirring, and shaking under the tutelage of seasoned industry experts. During the four-hour mixology workshop, guests learn the basics of alcoholic alchemy, blending liquors and mixers into sippable sensations. Workshops are divided into five sections, training amateur aperitif-crafters in the science of mixing, the components of liquors, equipment and bar setup, and how to pick the freshest garnishes from behind-the-bar garnish trees. All course completers enjoy access to a Cheers dimension that currently, due to spatial fluctuations, contains only Cliff Clavins.
For more than 25 years, Chef Bob has relied on real butter, milled cake flour, and farm-fresh milk and eggs to craft each of his made-from-scratch cakes. Though baking for confectioneries and coffee shops remains his passion, Chef Bob also flexes his culinary muscles by catering special events. He once cooked a southern-style meal for more than 6,000 guests at the US Naval Academy, through which he earned a private visit to the White House and a chance to inspect its fabled collection of Grover Cleveland–shaped eggplants.
Chef Bob also regularly shares cooking tips as a guest on WBRC Fox 6, and enlivens functions with custom cakes and ice sculptures. In addition, his cooking classes and demonstrations embolden students to try their hand at kitchen fundamentals or elaborate Ginzu-knife juggling routines. Though he loves sharing his expertly made sweets, he remains committed to promoting balanced diets with his portion-controlled Fit2Eat program.