Spend a few minutes in the dining area of the Sigma Chi house at Butler University and you might witness a spirited debate about which gastronomic creation by Chef Amy Webster tops their list of all-time favorites. While many brothers nominate Chef Amy’s fried ravioli for consideration, competing support quickly mounts in favor of the many and varied dishes that Chef Amy creates for their weekly, Italian-themed Friday night dinners. Several voices choose to highlight Chef Amy’s skill at putting unique twists on familiar favorites, while still others comment on her ability to provide special condiments and side dishes at mealtimes, allowing chapter members to customize each of her offerings into a favorite meal.
Dig deeper, however, and it becomes readily apparent that their strongest feelings toward Chef Amy have little or nothing to do with the meals that she prepares each day. Sigma Chi Chapter President Tanner Crandall sums up the chorus of opinions telling the real story at this chapter house, “Chef Amy doesn’t just cook for us; she cares for us. She prepares every meal with love, yet cares more about us than the food she prepares. She is kind and compassionate and cares about everyone who comes through our kitchen.”
Like many of the talented chefs working to provide fresh, unique meals at their client houses for College Chefs, Chef Amy Webster followed an eclectic path to her current posting. After spending many years in senior financial management positions with both General Motors and Ford, Chef Amy found herself a casualty of the global financial crisis and in a position to re-evaluate her career path. She remembers that she remained calm and took the time to ask herself, “What do I really want to do? What do I feel most passionate about?”
A self-described foodie, with a “love for The Cooking Channel,” Chef Amy followed a “feeling in my bones” and decided to embark on a culinary career. She quickly made a name for herself catering events in the Indianapolis art scene and rode her “passion for creating unique meals on a daily basis” to her current head chef position at the Sigma Chi house at Butler University. While Chef Amy loves the creative challenge of developing a new menu each day, she also feels that she is able to draw upon her unique background in finance, and as a mother, to make sure that her creativity stays within budget each week.
To keep her chapter members happy, Chef Amy likes to “give them what they know they want, but to also give them a little of what they don’t know they like yet.” She receives great satisfaction from the fact that house members are often interested in sharing their personal or academic challenges and successes with her. Whether a house member enters the kitchen to share a great grade, to invite her to a performance, or is in need of a last-minute bowtie adjustment, Chef Amy is happy to oblige. Sigma Chi chapter member George Giacobbe sums up the feelings of many chapter members, “Chef Amy is like a second mom to all of us, always looking out for us. She can fix so many things with just a smile. She is the best chef, and I don’t know what our house would do without her!”
While Chef Amy may smile when she hears “her boys” arguing over which one of her meals is their favorite, it is clear that she shares the feeling that their relationship is about much more than just food. “I love these boys like my own,” she confesses. “The most rewarding part of my job is watching these young men grow up…from pledges to adults!”
- Riley Miller