Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. The passion for food was from my maternal grandmother. She owned several cafes in Topeka. The story told by my parents is that I learnt to walk in her café. I remember going to the café and dreaming of working or owning a restaurant. I was a foodie before I knew it!
I always loved to cook and would experiment on anyone that I could. Trying different combinations, techniques and spices. I didn’t have trouble finding anyone to help me sample the dishes. I remember watching every episode on PBS of Julia Child and Jeff Smith. That was many years before the Food Network channels. You can bet what I watch now ☺
Most of my dishes are created after eating something that I enjoyed at a restaurant on one of our families travels. Most nights the family enjoyed my creations. I do have to say there were a few nights that we looked at each other and loaded up the kids and went out to eat. All were not a success. I was lucky enough to be a stay at home mom when the girls were young. Some of their best memories are those of coming home from school and smelling the fresh baked monkey bread or cookies. They got to help make our homemade pickles or ravioli’s that we often gave as gifts to our friends. I always enjoyed teaching the girls how to cook. I got to go to the middle school and taught each history class one day how to make homemade pasta. The kids got to mix the pasta, cook it and eat it all within one class. They loved it.
Two years ago for Christmas, I created “Our Family Cookbook.” That was quite a challenge for me as I never measure anything. So trying to write down recipes was difficult. I had often said that my girls will fight over who gets my recipe box.
I worked in the corporate world on a federal grant the past 8 years. I truly enjoyed the people across the state that I worked with. I was asked by a friend if I couldn’t work in the corporate world what I would do. In a split second I said “Oh that is easy, I would cook or own a restaurant.” She asked me why I haven’t done that! I asked her how long she had so that I could give her my 101 reasons why I couldn’t do what I love. She told me that I was holding myself back and should pursue my dream. Do you know how many people get to live their dream? So I went home and searched on the internet restaurants to purchase. I was lucky enough to find Beethoven’s #9.
Best decision of my life! I am living my dream! I am able to give our guest an experience that they will remember or one that brings back childhood memories or ones that bring back their visit to Germany. Many times I speak with our guest and they describe how our food reminds them of their travels through Germany or when they ate dinner with their grandparents. Smiles are my great reward to bringing them this experience.
Jeanie makes all of the pasta for the lasagna and ravioli from scratch. All of the bread and desserts for the restaurant. Each and every dish is made with Love! Everyone who eats at Beethoven’s becomes a member of our family.