Early in her career, Austin native, Callie Speer, influenced the pastry and bread program for Parkside under Shawn Cirkiel. Her experience also includes working as the pastry chef for Chameleon Group, and as the executive pastry chef for the Hotel Van Zandt.
In 2013, she was nominated for Food and Wine Magazine’s “People’s Best New Pastry Chef”. In 2015, she was awarded Pastry Chef of the Year by Culture map.
Equipped with experience, acclaim, and passion, Speer set out to open Holy Roller in 2017, which instantly became and continues to be a staple in the Austin dinning scene. Shortly after opening Holy Roller Speer won Eater Austin's Chef of the year Award.
Favorite success quote or mantra:
In this episode with Callie Speer, we discuss:
- How and why Speer got into the industry.
- Every master was once a disaster. Dive in. It is the only way you'll get better.
- How Speer lied about her ability, a few times, to get the job. Fake it till you make it.
- How Speer learned about high standards working for Shawn Cirkiel.
- Knowing this career path isn't going to be easy and being OK with that.
- Keeping your calm in disastrous situations.
- Compartmentalizing the aspects of your life, and knowing that it is OK to want other aspect of your life that work.
- Why you should never serve something that looks like poop, no matter how good and unlike poop it may tastes.
- Keeping your calm during stressful situations. If you lose your shit as a leader, you'll cause everyone else to lose their shit.
- Once you take a leadership role and earn a certain level of acclaim, you have a responsibility to pay it forward to those who come to work for you. If you party, think about yourself, and leave nothing in the tank for those who want to learn from you, you're being selfish.
- How Speers life turned around once she got sober.
- The story behind how Speer opened Holy Roller.
- Taking care of what you do have, not what you want to have.
- The power of giving your people creative freedom and how that contributes to authenticity.
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- Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
- Not being afraid to make an ass of herself.
- What is your biggest weakness?
- What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- Look for silent confidence.
- What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
- Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
- Don't yell. If you're going to lose your shit, leave.
- What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
- Make a great first impression by giving them a little something extra.
- Know your guest's name.
- If you see a regular come in with a friend, buy that friend a little something extra.
- What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
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- What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
- Considering the guest experience.
- What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
- If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?
- Take your time.
- Be uniquely you.
- Put your head down and work.
Thanks for listening!
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Huge thanks to Callie Speer for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!
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