(From left to right: Grayson Schrom, William Schrom, Kenten Marin)
We are here today, to bring a change in the way we see our community and the industry. B I F I would not be anything without the people working behind the scenes. Here’s a little about us:
Growing up in a country where people are thinking about lunch while having breakfast, a country where wives, maids, cooks get together to talk about food and share ideas, a country which is considered a top culinary destination in the world was a great privilege for to have. One I didn’t understand until a few years ago.
In the last decade I traveled to many places and learned about the food community of each place. It is thanks to this that I realized what I’ve been missing, what Houston is missing.
New York 2008, right after culinary school I landed in New York for the first time (that I remember), didn’t have any culinary friends but soon started hanging out with fellow cooks and culinary students who introduced me to a group of restaurant and bars where chefs gather to talk about the industry, trends and the regular kitchen day. Interesting but didn’t really click on me
Peru 2009, back to my home town to learn from Peru’s greatest and family friend, Gaston Acurio. I staged with him for three months while the food of the country I grew up in was in the middle of a culinary revolution that would put Peru on the top of the food world. I quickly learned in the restaurant that many of the people that worked there would stay the night on the second floor of the restaurant and gather to talk about their ideas for new dishes and stories about food they grew up eating. It all seemed normal to me at the time being that I grew up in that environment.
Spain 2012 was when I had the great opportunity to work at Mugarits in the Basque country in Spain. San Sebastian is a magical place when talking about food. This city has been known for their culinary love and techniques for hundreds of years and is the home to some of the best restaurants in the world just a few miles away from each other. So how did this happen? Because of Txokos, a gastronomical society that gathers to experiment new ideas and share their knowledge on food since the 1800’s.
This is when I realized what I want and need for the city I am part of now to have and grow together and help each other to become as great as other culinary famous places that everyone talks about. This is my dream and I will fight to watch it come true. We shouldn’t be lazy or selfish about it. We need a united caring community to achieve this and BIFI is the way I am proposing to accomplish this.
William grew up eating around a dining table nightly with his entire family. There was a strictly enforced ban on TV, radio, and later phones at this table. “On my parents firm insistence, we sat and we ate together. We sat and we learned to understand this experience, this bond of the dinner table and the communal meal, dining. We learned this to be synonymous with that unyielding, horrifying, unconditional love that only a family shares.”
William began working in food and service in college as he found the amount he wanted to party far surpassed the party budget of nothing. After college and a brief stint working as a shipping agent in the Houston ship channel, William has come back to the industry that put him through school.
William has worked as quite a few things in his service and hospitality career. A few of his more memorable positions are as follows: a bar back at a motown, funk, and R&B club. A busboy in fine dining. A waiter at a mid tier fast casual tex mex joint. High volume expo in a fine dining restaurant. Pizza cook in a literal hole in the wall without seats. Salad and Crudo in a fine dining location. Wait service in a french inspired high end establishment. FOH floor manager, director of wine and beverage program, and wine sales on the floor at a fine dining establishment. He currently works in wine sales, and is learning the lost art of whole animal butchering.
Grayson grew up in Houston Texas, raised by his mother and father while enjoying time with his two older brothers, Will and Josh. After finishing High School, Grayson decided to take his educational future to North Carolina where he was accepted and enrolled into the Belk College of Business at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Grayson found a passion in business and technology.
He graduated UNCC with a BSBA in Marketing and a minor in Management Information Systems. Shortly after college Grayson found a job at a Charlotte Nonprofit focused on technology advancements as a Marketing Assistant and Administrative Coordinator. Today, Grayson works at his office in Charlotte while helping develop and maintain websites, social media presences, analytics, and marketing plans. He has learned and developed a variety of marketing skills and is a certified content marketer.
Grayson worked in restaurants in Houston and Charlotte from the age of 15 to 21. Over those years he grew an appreciation for the industry, in the hours spent working, the desire for perfection with dishes, and the culture that works in the background of the industry.
William Schrom Kenten Marin Grayson Schrom
281-451-1887 713-569-9150 281-881-3067
Interested in working with B I F I? Questions about us or the next event? Contact us! firstname.lastname@example.org