S2E19 | Chef Bill Bigham

SEASON 2: EPISODE NUMBER: 19

EPISODE GUEST: Chef Bill Bigham

After a long career at Proctor & Gamble, Bill Bigham decided he wanted to pursue a new title: Chef.  

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After working for Procter and Gamble for 33 years, Bill Bigham decided he wanted to do something more with his time than hit the links.  The new goal: Chef.  He was accepted into the Inaugural Freshman Class of Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., and at the young age of 56, he went back to school.

But golf was not off the table.  While at Johnson & Wales, he was lucky to land an internship at the exclusive Pinehurst Resort during the 2005 U.S. Open.

Bigham, now Chef Bill Bigham, earned an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts, graduating Summa Cum Laude and has since become a personal chef working everything from small dinner parties to grand openings. 

In 2007, Bill was named “Best of the Best” Personal Chef by Charlotte Magazine. 

He gives credit to the ethical culture of Proctor & Gamble and his midwestern work-ethic for his success.  “Tell the truth.  Don’t try to BS people,” says Bigham.

His favorite dish?  While in Italy he had a dish comprised of only 3 ingredients:  homemade pasta, white truffle, olive oil

Top Turkey Tips, “Brine your turkey and don’t overcook your bird.”

– Chef Bill Bigham

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By |2022-04-04T23:40:29-05:00November 22nd, 2021|Paper Trails, PodCasts, Season 2|0 Comments

S1E30 | Pinky’s Westside Grill Owner Greg Auten

SEASON 1: EPISODE NUMBER: 30

EPISODE GUEST: Greg Auten

Pinky’s Westside Grill was serving up a mean meal long before Guy Fieri and the Food Network visited.  We’re chatting with owner, Greg Auten, whose long history in the restaurant scene has taken him from a hot dog cart to working with another Charlotte, NC iconic diner, the Penguin.

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It’s the restaurant with a VW Bug sitting atop the roof that you’ve seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. But we already knew Pinky’s Westside Grill was serving up a mean meal long before Guy Fieri and the Food Network visited.

Owner, Greg Auten, has had along history in the Charlotte, N.C. restaurant scene. A Charlotte native, Auten has watched the city and food scene grow exponentially. He started his culinary career working a hot dog cart, bartending at Red Lobster and working as a banquet chef before taking a position at the iconic Penguin restaurant.

Despite the popularity and success of Pinky’s, Auten’s career has had many setbacks. Overcoming them has taught him the importance of consistency, reliability, and investing. His advice? “Whoever’s listening to this learn from these stories… there’s a little thread of what it takes to succeed.”

Greg Auten’s Business Tips:

  • Take what you do serious
  • Be in control of finances
  • Stay on top of everything
  • Knowing the cost of everything

After a wide and varied journey through all sides of the restaurant industry, bbq fan Lewis Donald launched his shop, Sweet Lew’s, in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlotte, NC because he felt Charlotte needed a true barbecue shop and “I felt like that was my best avenue to be me, have fun and I could see myself doing it for the rest of my life.”

“It takes time and you have to really work at it like any business”

– Jason Ackerman of @scallionpancake on growing an Instagram following

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By |2022-03-23T13:38:51-05:00February 16th, 2021|Paper Trails, Season 1|0 Comments

S1E29 | Charlotte Food Influencers: Allie Papajohn, Jason Ackerman & Jessica Hodnett – Paper Trails

SEASON 1: EPISODE NUMBER: 29

EPISODE GUEST: Jason Ackerman, Jessica Hodnett & Allie Papajohn

They’re the minds behind Charlotte, N.C.’s most popular Instagram food feeds.  Meet @eatdrinkclt’s Allie Papajohn, one-half of @scallionpancake’s Jason Ackerman, and @thesweetseoul’s Jessica Hodnett. 

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They’re the minds behind the mouth-watering feeds of three of Charlotte, N.C.’s most popular foodie Instagram accounts.  Meet @eatdrinkclt’s Allie Papajohn, one-half of @scallionpancake’s Jason Ackerman, and @thesweetseoul’s Jessica Hodnett.  

We test the foodie trio’s local restaurant knowledge and find out what they would like to see come to Charlotte.  

In the trying times of COVID, they share how they’ve been working to help use their foodie power for good in support of the restaurant industry.  

Their tips for being successful on social media:

  • Be engaging
  • Consistent/authentic
  • Be involved in the community
  • Motivation
  • Know your worth
  • Enjoy what you do

After a wide and varied journey through all sides of the restaurant industry, bbq fan Lewis Donald launched his shop, Sweet Lew’s, in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlotte, NC because he felt Charlotte needed a true barbecue shop and “I felt like that was my best avenue to be me, have fun and I could see myself doing it for the rest of my life.”

“It takes time and you have to really work at it like any business”

– Jason Ackerman of @scallionpancake on growing an Instagram following

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By |2022-03-23T13:38:51-05:00February 9th, 2021|Paper Trails, Season 1|0 Comments

S1E27 | Chef Sam Diminich

SEASON 1: EPISODE NUMBER: 27

EPISODE GUEST: Chef Sam Diminich

Chef Sam Diminich has beaten Bobby Flay, and now he’s found a way to thrive AND help others amidst the massive strain COVID has placed on the restaurant industry. His story of resilience in creating Your Farms Your Table, his local meal delivery service that is championing our regional farmers. 

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His lobster risotto beat Bobby Flay, and his new gourmet delivery meal business, Your Farms, Your Table, has played strong defense to the battle COVID-19 has wrought on the restaurant industry.

 

Chef Sam Diminich has accomplished what many chefs dream but the road hasn’t always been easy. 

 

Growing up in the restaurant industry, Diminich learned to love the work ethic and hustle it took to run a business.  

 

He enrolled in the culinary program at his community college and began working at a seafood restaurant.  He soon realized that the restaurant industry was where he was meant to be.  

 

Around 1995, he entered into a sous chef competition where the first-place winner earned a free semester at the Culinary Institute of America.  

 

Sam won.  It was the start of a great career for Diminich, but the journey was not without hardships. Diminch is open about the ups and downs he’s faced, battling alcohol and addiction.

 

Throughout it all, he continued to climb the ladder in the restaurant industry, eventually becoming Executive Chef of the restaurant Upstream in the posh South Park neighborhood of Charlotte, N.C.

 

But when the pandemic hit in 2020, Upstream made the tough decision to shut down.  Out of work, Diminich got innovative to create income for himself and to help local farmers who had crops with no restaurants to supply.  

 

Your Farms, Your Table became the solution.  Diminich’s new business supports local farmers by using seasonal produce for an ever-changing menu of gourmet meals to-go.  He cooks and delivers the food to homes all over town and hasn’t repeated a menu.




“And by that Tuesday we had closed down. It was f*n over man. That was a tough day.”

– Chef Sam Diminich

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By |2022-03-23T13:38:52-05:00January 26th, 2021|Paper Trails, Season 1|0 Comments

S1E12 | Bill Glass & Jeff Lorey of B&A Food Brokers

SEASON 1: EPISODE NUMBER: 12

EPISODE GUEST: Bill Glass & Jeff Lorey

The secret ingredient for restaurant success? Consistency. On an all-new Paper Trails Podcast, Nick sits down with Bill Glass & Jeff Lorey of B&A Food Brokers.

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“It’s like peeking behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.” Bill Glass of B&A Food Brokers sums up the food broker biz perfectly. He has a long history of working in the restaurant industry, but before coming to B&A, he was unaware of how much goes on behind the curtain.

“It’s like I’m back in school,” says Glass. “I learn something different every day.”

His colleague, Jeff Lorey, agrees. “I had no idea that this took place behind the scenes. After school, Lorey had wanted to be a stock broker, but a friend called him to interview for a food broker job. On the interview, not only did he land the gig, but he met his wife.

Eventually, he created his own company, sold it to a larger entity, then started on a new adventure with B&A. He loves the business because he loves people, and at its core, that’s what B&A is about. B&A prides itself on trying to educate others in the industry.

“If we help that operator succeed, we all win,” says Lorey.

Glass and Lorey’s advice for a great restaurant? “Have a plan, know who you are, and be consistent,” says Lorey. The largest chains they work with use that secret recipe. They may not have the best food, but they’re consistent plate to plate, franchise to franchise.

Peek behind the curtain of the food industry and get to know B&A Food Brokers.

“It’s like peeking behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.”

– Bill Glass, B&A Food Brokers

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By |2022-04-04T20:58:27-05:00September 1st, 2020|Paper Trails, PodCasts, Season 1|0 Comments

S2E19 | Chef Bill Bigham test

SEASON 2: Episode 18

  • BEN ALLEMAN

    Magnolia Coffe Co.

After working for Procter and Gamble for 33 years, Bill Bigham decided he wanted to do something more with his time than hit the links.  The new goal: Chef.  He was accepted into the Inaugural Freshman Class of Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., and at the young age of 56, he went back to school.

But golf was not off the table.  While at Johnson & Wales, he was lucky to land an internship at the exclusive Pinehurst Resort during the 2005 U.S. Open.

Bigham, now Chef Bill Bigham, earned an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts, graduating Summa Cum Laude and has since become a personal chef working everything from small dinner parties to grand openings. 

In 2007, Bill was named “Best of the Best” Personal Chef by Charlotte Magazine. 

He gives credit to the ethical culture of Proctor & Gamble and his midwestern work-ethic for his success.  “Tell the truth.  Don’t try to BS people,” says Bigham.

His favorite dish?  While in Italy he had a dish comprised of only 3 ingredients:  homemade pasta, white truffle, olive oil

SEASON 2: EPISODE NUMBER: 19

EPISODE GUEST: Chef Bill Bigham

After a long career at Proctor & Gamble, Bill Bigham decided he wanted to pursue a new title: Chef.  

GUEST LINKS:

Top Turkey Tips, “Brine your turkey and don’t overcook your bird.”

– Chef Bill Bigham

Share Episode

MORE EPISODES:

After a long career at Proctor & Gamble, Bill Bigham decided he wanted to pursue a new title: Chef.  

"I realized that I could change somebody's day because I'm the first person they're speaking to, most likely." Magnolia Coffee Co Production Manager, Ben Alleman, got into the coffee scene because he wanted a change from the restaurant industry. He quickly fell in love with what he calls the 'counter-culture.'

"I've never met a cheese I didn't like." Meet the Babe behind Babe & Butcher, Charlotte N.C.'s iconic charcuterie board company, Lindsay Anvik.

Through the ebbs and flows of financial crises, pandemics, and life's hardships, Manolo's Latin Bakery owner, Manolo Betancur has continued to persist and focus on people first to find business success.

Stomp, Chomp & Roll Restaurant Group owner, Will Bigham, describes himself as 'always learning,' which is probably why he's seen success operating a wide variety of restaurants ranging from a dessert business to fast-casual Asian cuisine, and now the popular Charlotte, NC brands Improper Pig, Flying Biscuit, and Pizza Peel.

Vaulted Oak Brewing took up shop in what was once a BB&T bank and kept a lot of the elements, including the pneumatic tubes formerly used by drive-up customers.

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Meet two of the minds that make both the Crunkleton Charlotte and Cheat’s Cheesesteaks on the must-list of Charlotte, N.C.’s culinary scene: Executive Chef Greg Balch and Bar Manager Ryan Hart.

We may be a paper company, but this crew is makin' that paper! We get a fascinating view inside the workings of CT Commercial Paper in Oakboro, NC with Kat Palm & Mollie Guffy.

After a journey through all sides of the restaurant industry, bbq fan Lewis Donald launched his shop, Sweet Lew's, because he felt Charlotte needed a true barbecue shop.

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By |2022-03-21T07:50:06-05:00March 21st, 2014|Paper Trails, PodCasts|0 Comments

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