Although Chef Amy Fitzpatrick started cooking at a young age, she never imagined she would have a career in the culinary industry back then. She started cooking and preparing meals at age seven, simply to help support her family. Originally from the Philippians, Amy’s family moved to Vancouver, Canada when she was five years old. Amy’s father decided to move the family to Canada from the Philippians to avoid the country’s corruption and provide more opportunity for Amy and her five older siblings. Money was tight after the move, forcing both Amy’s parents and siblings to work long days. Amy was often the only one home after school, so she took on the role of family cook while in middle school. Tragedy struck the family when Amy’s mother passed away from cancer when she was eight years old. Amy’s role now played an even greater impact, and she continued to provide food for her family.
One of Amy’s first jobs as a teenager was in a Belgium chocolate shop. She learned to love the art of the Belgium chocolates, while occasionally indulging in the chocolate as a meal replacement. After her schooling, Amy became a sales rep for a golf apparel company in Vancouver. While at a trade show, she met her future husband, who also worked in the golf industry. Soon after, the couple got married and moved to Southern California. When they first arrived, Amy could not get an immediate job because she had to wait for her immigration papers to transfer. It was at this time that she decided to enroll at Laguna Culinary Arts.
While studying to become a chef, Amy got the chance to intern at Shady Cannon Country Club. She worked there for a while under a Chef who served as her mentor. He eventually inspired her to go in to catering. Amy later started her own company, Delish Dish, a catering company in Sothern California. She typically caters to big company meetings, weddings, birthdays, and private parties. She likes to sit down with event organizers and cater each event specifically to what is requested. While they can use standard menu items, many times the meals and dishes at these events are brand new creations.
Two events stuck out to Amy when recalling the success of her company. The first was an international sales meeting for Quicksilver. It was a three-day event and she and her team provided breakfast and lunch to over 150 people. The other more notable event was a big wedding that was a year in the making. The engaged couple was true foodies, putting lots of thought and detail into their wedding meals with Amy.
Chef Amy claims that one of her biggest business challenges has been letting go of control. A self-proclaimed, “control freak,” Amy has learned over the years to take a step back and trust the people who share the same company vision. Staffing has also been a past problem, so Amy reached out to Chef Placement Services in order to fill those needs properly. Her advice to future business owners is to love what you do, be open minded, and be patient.
In addition to running Delish Dish, Amy is also the house manager of two homes in Laguna Beach. She manages the home of a Saudi Arabian family, who spends two months a year in their California home. Her roles include maintenance, paying bills, and hiring staff. She also works with the Easton family, founders of Easton sporting goods. She serves as their personal chef, as well as other standard roles of a house manager. She loves both families like her own, because they treat her like family when she is away from her own.