Chef Rory Schepisi

Growing up in Bergen County, New Jersey and traveling frequently to the island of St. Martin in the Netherlands Antilles, Rory was introduced to unusual regional cuisine at a very early age.  Goat curry, escargot, blood sausage, oxtail stew, beef tongue, octopus and ostrich were all normal in Rory’s household. 

Rory began her culinary career at the age of 15 working in her father’s Italian restaurant located in Bergen Country, New Jersey.  At the age of 17 Rory was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and completed her externship on the island of St. Martin.  After graduating from the Culinary Institute, Rory attended Johnson & Wales to take additional courses in Restaurant and Hotel Management. 

At 21 years of age, an opportunity to open her own restaurant presented itself to Rory.  Rory realized that a different type of cuisine was lacking in the Bergen County area and as a result decided to open up a Cajun Creole restaurant. After several months of traveling back and forth between New Orleans and New Jersey, Rory opened up her first restaurant “Bourbon Street” in Hillsdale, New Jersey.  Items on the menu included such delicacies as alligator strips, crawfish etouffe, jambalaya and cedar plank grilled steak.   Bourbon Street became an overnight success. 

At the age of 25, Rory moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.  While in Los Angeles Rory blended her two passions, acting and the food industry, managing the restaurant and nightclub Cines pace.  After five years in Los Angeles Rory decided to move back to the East Coast and open another restaurant.  Immediately prior to her return to the East Coast, Rory went on one final audition and was asked to participate as a contestant on a reality television program POPULARITY CONTEST for the County Music Television station (“CMT”).  The show was filmed in Vega, Texas and Rory came in second place.  During the filming Rory fell in love with the town and one of the local cowboys and moved to Vega.  Becoming a true cowgirl herself, Rory went from wearing Versace and Jimmy Choo boots to wearing starched levis and cowboy boots.  During this transformation, Rory learned how to brand cattle, milk cows, break horses and rope steer.  She also was introduced to some of the more unusual local cuisine, including calf fries.  Shortly after moving to Vega, Rory decided to build a new restaurant, Boot Hill Saloon & Grill, in Vega.  While building, Rory’s family suggested she send in a tape to participate in Season 3 of the Next Food Network Star.  Rory was chosen as a finalist to compete in The Next Food Network Star Season 3 in New York, which aired in June and July 2007, where she came in second place. 

Rory Since has had her recipes featured on the Cover of Bon Appetit Magazine, has appeared on The Rachel ray show and has worked with chefs such as Bobby Flay, Giada Delaurentis, and  Paula Dean to name a few.  Rory’s pursuit of foods, travel and fun will never stop; she strives to introduce people to new flavors and cultures.  She loves to teach, whether it be healthy recipes to complex dishes, Rory will always show you how in the best simplistic way.