What's NOT on My Resume: Einat Admony
No one starts out on top, especially in the food business. In this weekly column, chefs and restaurateurs across the country share the stories of their humble beginnings.
Believe it or not, Einat Admony of Taim and Balaboosta did not get her start at a falafel stand, despite her magical touch with the Middle Eastern snack. Rather, the New York City-based chef launched her career at the very first Wendy’s in her native Israel at the age of 15. “It was my first job ever. Wendy’s came much before McDonald’s did in Israel, so it was a very shiny and new American chain for us,” she says. “It was kind of fancy and expensive. Everybody was excited about it. The burger was square! It was totally unique.”
Admony, who recently published the cookbook, Balaboosta, worked the counter fielding orders and handling the cash register at the time. But she was drawn to the all-you-can-eat salad bar. “I loved it - I always asked to be more involved in the kitchen and the food preparation,” she says. “So I was also charged with prepping some things for the salad bar. Everything came in packs, so it was pretty easy.”
Admony says the experience taught her customer service, most especially how to mind her p’s and q’s. “Customer service is something that Israelis are not really great with. So they taught us to say, ‘Thank you,’ and ‘Please’ and ‘Excuse me.’ I think it’s the first time I ever heard those words,” she recalls laughing. The chef adds that it was her later experience in the military, however, that was most useful in her future career. “It taught me discipline, limits and borders. My nature is always to go against the stream and I think the military really put me in place and taught me a lot about morals, ethics, friendship - how to stand up for each other - and especially community. And as a cook, if a chef would scream at me for someone else’s job, I would never snitch. Never, never, never. I would always take the bullet for everybody else.”