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  • Annie Payton

Life is Food and Beverage

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

My first blog here...I have posted so many comments ,photos, accolades, recipes, experiences , etc., online, that a life long friend suggested I start a blog , so here it is.....


I have always loved to write. I've won essay contests as a kid, skipped English classes in high school and college. I've created employee newsletters , manuals, journals, and hospitality internships, all along the way. My journey has been good. I hope to share what I've learned with others. Maybe it will help one person, maybe it will enlighten more...


My life has been full of love with great people who have made it complete . I grew up in a very happy, large family.

We were all very close. I went off to college, began my airline career, then my restaurants, gaming bar, and catering company. I travelled the world. I met all kinds of people. I hired some. I fired some. I met good ones and bad. I had great mentors, stellar examples, and then some less than that..Each helped mold me into who I am today.


There is NOTHING, no course, no book, no video, no conversation, that will ever prepare you for helping an aged, sickly parent. That experience put me in a whole new place. It showed me how to be kind, strong, assertive, and an advocate. It taught me to appreciate immensely the good times while we have them. You may not realize it until you're there. Then you wished you could go back. And you can't...


So this is where I begin. Dedicating my blog, my life's path , my joys, sorrows, adventures, lessons, to my amazing parents. My father was my confidence and strength for so many years. I miss our daily cups of coffee, strolls with the dogs, trips to the casino, Blue Bloods marathons...He took everything in stride, calmly, not ever letting anything get under his skin. It must have come with being a NYC cop. Or perhaps, growing up poorly , the youngest of 6, in South Ozone Park, Queens. He had fun, he made friends wherever he went, he enjoyed life, he loved his wife, kids, and grandkids more than life. He had his sports, his dog, his cozy home, and appreciated above all, the dinner table. Food and beverage. So many memories were made around that dinner table.

Dad married a woman who loved to cook. They were happily married just shy of 65 years. You cannot count how many times those group gatherings occurred during their time together.


What made me realize that Dad wasn't far from his return to God, was when he couldn't eat the great food he had loved his whole life. It took my breath away not seeing him be able enjoy a good bowl of pasta. That day my heart began to break .


I always had to have fun Which is why I have picked hospitality as a career. I wanted to do something that everyone needs and enjoys. This is food and beverage. I figured I'd always be busy..So true!


Cooking for my husband, my family, my clients, and especially my father, has brought me so much joy over the years.


I have a void now with dad being gone...I have also realized he would want me to continue cooking and making memories...


Dad and I on the Pontevecchio..

The family took a trip of a lifetime.

So glad we did. He was 75 here.




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