Chef Bonnie Collins took over the reins as Hendrick House’s executive chef this year and as the semester is wrapping up, I thought I would take a few minutes of her time to chat with her about some of her time before the Hendrick House.
When asked where she got her start, she told me about cooking with her parents as she grew up on their family farm. After a high school job at Steak n’ Shake, Bonnie thought she would never get another foodservice job, but landed a position at Baytowne Bar & Grille instead. It was there that she started managing the menu, planning luncheons & banquets, and got a real taste for what being a chef might entail.
From there, she got a job with Kamakura where she quickly rose through the ranks to the position of head chef after only a year. Bonnie spent 5 years at Kamakura and it was through that experience that she helped launch the sushi program at Hendrick House. Once a week, her hand-picked team will go to one of the Greek houses that one of our chefs is at and roll and serve sushi for dinner.
Of course, that couldn’t happen until she was hired onto the Hendrick House staff back in 2010. Again, Bonnie impressed everyone around her with her ability to produce amazing food. After just a short while, she was the head chef at one of our sororities and consistently performed above and beyond.It was because of this stellar track record that when the executive chef position opened up at the dorm, Bonnie seemed the natural choice. It’s not uncommon if you have to pass through the Hendrick House kitchen to hear Bonnie’s laughter or her singing along with just about any and every song that comes on the radio, and it’s a daily event to see the students of Hendrick House passing through the dining area, struggling with the decision of what they won’t have room to eat as Bonnie has once again risen to the occasion.