Donna Blevins Balzaratti
I am a Graduate of Houston Academy Class of 1978 Dothan, Alabama. I attended Auburn University and obtained a Bachelors degree in food service administration, and a minor in catering in 1983. There was this catering class at Auburn that I talked my advisor into teaching and we were the hit of the faculty since we were so cheap. Dr. Meyer just set us up as a business and turned us loose. I learned by “jumpingin feet first” and my love affair with “catered affairs” began.
I worked in a hotel in Atlanta, the Buckhead area, as restaurant operations manager, and moonlighted as a “grunt,” in the Capital City Club downtown under Chef Don Hamilton. There, I learned about the professional kitchen. Chef Don is now the executive chef of the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada. I opened the Basketcase in 1989 at Northside Mall. Two years later, after seeing some success, I moved the business to present location on South Oates.
First cooking memory:
I learned to make “bear claws” (pineapple-filled yeast dough) in seventh grade home-ec class. It was the only thing I learned to make and my parents still won’t eat them to this day.
Worst cooking disaster:
During a live TV show, the hot lights melted my linzer cookie dough into a pancake batter-consistency, and it ran off the counter
Choice for final meal:
Sushi and draft beer
Words to live by:
You can fix anything with whipping cream, butter and booze.