We had the good fortune of connecting with Angie Graffigna and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Angie, how does your business help the community?
The rule in the Kitchen (For our cooking classes) is: “You don’t have to eat anything you don’t want to, but you are required to smell everything, because if you smell, you might want to try it, and if you try it, you might discover something you didn’t know you liked, and even if you still don’t like it, at least now you know what it smells like”. And then, magic happens and little eyes light up, and now there is one more child who suddenly likes green peppers, or Brussel sprouts, or cumin, or whatever spice we are using! Days like those, I know my work is done! I believe that health starts with what we eat, but we are all so busy that we don’t always have time to cook fresh and nutritious meals, let’s be realistic, I get it! What has happened is that our kids don’t get to see us cooking, and in turn they don’t see it as something normal or realistic. If kids don’t feel comfortable in the kitchen or around ingredients, how are they going to learn? That is what we are trying to do with our Cooking Classes!! One “new green pepper lover child” at a time!
With Catering, we’ve been able to share our love of “made from scratch meals” with the local families. When you have the opportunity to gather and celebrate, you shouldn’t have to eat things from a frozen bag or a box. Many restaurants or eateries have done the best they can to survive the past few years, it’s been tough. But a restaurant, should not be the middleman between customers and frozen food distributors!! You can get frozen food and boxes at the grocery store. We believe and work really hard in providing the experience that you get with gathering around good food, that was made with care. Which is the reason for our name.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a Commercial Kitchen, where we do all things “Food”. Catering, business lunches, social events, cooking classes, private dinners, etc. We are also licensed as a Brew Pub, brew our beer on site, and host Beer Brewing classes. During and after my career in the Hospitality Industry I have always hosted Dinner parties for friend and family and noticed that it did not matter the setup, the group would always end up gathering in the Kitchen. When it came time to do it commercially, I knew I wanted to welcome people to our “Kitchen” and have to possibility to show our guests how we prepare their meal, and participate of the interaction, when we are hosting an on-site event. And for cooking classes we wanted to give, kids and adults, the opportunity to feel comfortable in the kitchen with all the tools to let their own creativity be part of the process.
As our little town continues to grow and expand, more food business start growing too, for the right food entrepreneur, we have our kitchen available for rent, as the previous step to them building their own brick and mortar.
Our passion and respect for the food industry is what set us apart. it is as simple (and complex) as to say “We truly love Food”.
We have been overcoming challenges from the get-go. The key for that, I guess, has been that we don’t see them as challenges, but just as another step in the process. Each “delay” has been something to work on, a learning opportunity, never a reason to stop. The same way that depending on the recipe, you have to wait for the ingredients to interact in the right way, we had our moments of “simmering” and “fermenting”, but we always trusted our recipe, sort of speak.
The original bank financing our project went into a restructuring and would not fund the already approved loan. So, we looked for another one. Once that was solved, and we started “a 90 days” construction, when a “little detail” as the World Pandemic was declared in March of 2019. Our construction took over 10 months, and we are so grateful to say that was our only issue, when so many lost so much. When you put it into perspective, we can only be grateful.
Once construction was finalized, we had a final inspection scheduled for Feb 2021, except that the State of TX froze over. Oh, well, a little more simmering will only accentuate the flavors!! We open in April of 2021, and even when we, like everyone else, have been dealing and suffering the consequences of staffing shortages, once again, we take it as another opportunity to be creative and rethink our service model. Missing an ingredient does not mean you need to cancel the recipe all together. With enough knowledge, you can figure out how to replace the ingredient or rethink the recipe with the ingredients you do have.
If nothing else, I love Food, sharing every aspect of it, and I intend to continue doing it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We have a very interesting bar & restaurant scene very close by, Downton Denton. From relax atmosphere restaurants like Rooster’s to upscale speakeasies like Paschall’s. Friends and family know that no matter how busy I might be, I will always make time to make them Biscuits and Sausage gravy from scratch, for breakfast. Recently I discovered a wonderful, themed restaurant in the Bishop Arts district, Chimichurri Argentinean Bistro, and yes, I am a bit bias about it, but I am also a good judge of quality food, and this spot was fantastic. Even when further away from us, it was well worth the trip. Back in Denton, Osteria Il Muro, has raving reviews, and I am looking forward to my upcoming reservation!! The Grand Scape complex has all sorts of activity and entertainment for everyone, another good spot to visit.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have almost 20 years in the Hotel Industry, as my professional background, and there has been many colleagues and mentors from whom I learned a lot. Most recently, and on the culinary side, Chef Ron Rezcek, an incredible professional and Army Veteran who is currently leading the culinary program in Colling College, and who is doing wonders for the future of the industry, has had an immense impact in the development of my skills. Of course, none of this would be possible, if it wasn’t for the one person who believed in and encouraged my idea, since before the project existed in its current form, my husband, Jack. And then, on the day-to-day operation, I have a, for now, small team of incredibly talented and very patient (LOL, ideas can get crazy around here!!) people with me. Berhta & Casey. Bertha started as an international student, and now my Sous Chef who complete the same Culinary Degree I did. With the patience of a Saint and strong character to deal with me, she has endless flavor knowledge, and understanding of recipes like no other! Casey is a local high school student, who is our kitchen assistant extraordinaire! Casey possesses initiative and work ethic that is extremely difficult to find these days. You cannot train for those skills! I am beyond fortunate to have them working with me.

Website: www.foodexperienceco.com

Instagram: @foodexperiencecorporation

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foodexperienceco

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