The “Celebrating Our People” series is aimed at highlighting the many talented employees that make up Proof of the Pudding’s teams across the southeast. We hope you enjoy learning more about our hospitality and culinary POPstars!
POP: Hope you’re having a great week, Stephanie! Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to chat with us this afternoon. For starters, what’s the one piece of advice you would share with others at the beginning of their career?
STEPHANIE: If you have had one day where you have not learned something from someone, you have not had a successful day! Take experiences from all of those around you daily. But if you really want to grow and learn, watch those who have excelled in their careers…they are the ones to learn from!
POP: What values have shaped your life?
STEPHANIE: I am strong-willed and independent with a dedicated work ethic to success and be proud of the job I do. I get those traits from my mother who came to our country from Greece as a young lady with little education but a strong desire to learn and work her way to success! I am also sensitive and sincere – wonderful traits I got from my father. I think the combination is a good balance.
POP: What was your favorite meal as a kid growing up?
STEPHANIE: Definitely my mother’s Pastitsio and Spanakopita. I began eating lamb before I had teeth so anything that’s authentic Greek food is always a favorite for me! My favorite tradition growing up was making Easter Cookies (Koulourakia) and today I tease my mother that I make the best ones. It’s a continued fun banter for us each year!
I am a lover of food and all things that encompass it! I began my passion many years ago after Business & Culinary School as a Pastry Chef. I loved creating sweet treats for all to enjoy but after about 10 years as a Pastry Chef, I was ready to expand who I could be!
POP: Who has influenced you the most (in life and/or your career)?
STEPHANIE: I have been blessed to have amazing bosses over the years. I think one of my favorite mentors has been my late Uncle Marion who I first worked for as a child. He taught me so much about running a business and owning everything you do. But I would be wrong to not credit some of my favorite Chefs along the way like Hillary White (from 103 West back in the day) and Brian Shoenbeck (from the Greenbrier back in the day). Those two are wonderful at their skills and love teaching those willing to learn. But my favorite of all time was the late Lee Stepancik. She welcomed me into Proof like her very own and helped teach me some of the company’s core values. They don’t make them like that anymore, I just hope she’s smiling down on me proud of all of her dedicated years to the company we both love, Proof of the Pudding!
POP: What is your favorite song lyric or inspirational quote?
STEPHANIE: Live each day without regret because in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take!
POP: What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
STEPHANIE: Early in my career I loved creating sweet treats for all to enjoy, but after about 10 years as a Pastry Chef I was ready to expand who I could be. I also absolutely love architecture. And in my next life I will be a famous Modern Day Architect!