How ‘a Perfectionist on a Budget’ Decorated Her Buzzy New Restaurant
You know you’re on a budget when the waitstaff gives you a bowl of cereal before you sit down. But even though it’s not a budget, Amy, a perfectionist on a budget, put her own spin on it when she opened Fannie Mae’s Bistro in her New Orleans neighborhood, a place that serves up both high-end cooking and inexpensive, soulful comfort food.
Since getting her start with a catering company, Amy, who prefers to go by the name M.J. (short for my husband’s initials) has built a name for herself as a world-class talent for putting people at ease, cooking delicious meals with as little as an oven receipt and $20 in her pocket. Now, with her own venture, The Bistro, she’s giving off her signature vibe—but in a more budget-friendly way.
In her apartment kitchen, Amy sets up an old-fashioned oven, a mixer, a skillet and some other basics. She then has an assistant make some cocktails and serve them in tiny glasses. A few minutes later, a waiter shows up and delivers the food in another bowl. “It would be so much easier if the food came right out of the oven,” she says. “They should be prepared with the food right there on the spot.”
A photo posted by Amy Schmock (@amyschmock) on Nov 5, 2016 at 5:58pm PST
It’s her way of paying homage to her mom, who instilled that same level of perfection in her; her father, who taught her the importance of service; and her sister, who helped her expand her expertise by attending culinary school. When she isn’t in front of the camera, she’s behind the scenes, which is why she’s not only a chef but also a food-truck manager on the side, and why she’s been open for