from Winter-Spring 2016 Alumni Newsletter by Madeline Patton Shivers ’77.
Amanda Karmazin '05
Friends wanted Amanda Karmazin ’05 to open a bakery when she decided not to continue college courses for a healthcare career. They liked her shortbread cut-out cookies, which are based on her grandma Meme's recipe. The cookies also had their fans when she worked in the kitchen at Salem Community Hospital from 2008 to 2012.
But Karmazin wanted formal training before venturing out on her own and enrolled in the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta. She completed the one-year certificate program in patisserie and baking with honors, and worked for a year at the bakery where she had an externship.
Now she is the specialty cake decorator and assistant store manager at Gigi's Cupcakes in Norcross, Georgia. Wedding cakes are her favorite work projects because their size allows for more artistic expression than mini cupcakes.
Some day she may open her own bake shop, but she says for now, "I'm happy where I am."
Jud Smith ’03
Jud Smith ’03 started the Brimfield Bread Oven in 2014 with a portable, wood-fired brick oven. In 2016 he and his wife Genevieve opened Northeast Ohio's first commercial wood-fired bakery at their cafe in Brimfield, Ohio.
Smith’s training includes an apprenticeship with the King Arthur Flour Bakery in Vermont. Everything from the craftsmanship of his bakery’s custom-built 20-ton oven to selecting the wood he uses to bake dough he shapes by hand, appeals to him.
“It’s an old trade with a rich history and culture,” he wrote about baking in an email. “I love that it would take more than one lifetime to learn all of. I love working with my hands and I love being a food provider.”
Dan Engle ’63
In 1989 Dan Engle ’63 and his wife Margie opened B.B. Rooner’s, which is named for their children. The Bs are for sons Brock ’95 and Beau. "Roon" is the nickname Dan gave his daughter Andrea Engle Wisniewski '89 when she was a little girl. Photos of them pursuing their sports are among the college and professional sports memorabilia and three pristine motorcycles on display in the restaurant.
Rooner’s unique design element is its clever incorporation of Salem High School's old mahogany gym bleachers in the bar and woodwork throughout the restaurant.
Engle, who began his food career as a baker, says his employees are key to his 27 years in business on East Street in downtown Salem. "You have to have good employees. If you don't, you aren't going to be successful," he said.
Susan Paparodis Annabell ’74
Susan Paparodis Annabell ’74 followed in the career path of her father and other relatives when she and her husband Tim Annabell opened Annabell’s Restaurant at the intersection of West State Street and Benton Road in Salem in January 2002. The couple met when Paparodis’ father, Soph Paparodis, hired Tim as sous chef for Timberlanes.
“We’re in the restaurant business because this is what we know and we love the customers,” she said.
Rick Metts ’87
Rick Metts ’87 says he loves the restaurant business. “I’ve had a lot of great years here. The location has been super,” he said of his East State Street location in downtown Salem.
He was 34 when he opened Ricky’s English Pub 15 years ago. Initially he continued working as a flight attendant for American Airlines thanks to the assistance of family, particularly his grandmother, Anna Cristo Logan ’50, and his mom, Sue Moore. Both women had owned bars.
As a full-time restaurateur, Metts said he has been able to expand to a full menu of lunch and dinner options that attract regular clients and Salem visitors. His favorite aspect of the business is interacting with customers.
Anne Gano '08
"There are quite a few things about being chef that I love," Anne Gano, head chef at Au Cheval in Chicago, wrote in an email that arrived after the newsletter went to the printer.
"I love what food represents. It represents culture, celebration, special events, family, really so many things. Food is such an important part of life, not only to survive but to mark things that are truly important to us.
"I also really love the intensity of the kitchen and restaurants. They are constantly going, there's never a dull moment. There's an energy that both the staff and the customers give off that's addicting!"
Read more about Gano in the May 6, 2015 Salem High School Alumni Association Blog http://shsaablog.org/salem-alum-makes-one-of-countrys-best-burgers/