Meet Katie Irving: Homecoming Cook
For newly promoted Line Cook Katie Irving, a career at Point Place Casino is a homecoming of sorts.
No, the casino didn’t exist when Katie was growing up on the shores of Oneida Lake. But she grew up in the town of Bridgeport and graduated from Chittenango High School, which means she’s right back where she started, succeeding far beyond her wildest dreams.
“It’s pretty great to be living and working so close to home,” she says, noting that she now lives in Lakeport, about five minutes away. “It’s even better to be working for the Oneida Indian Nation.”
Katie has a son with special needs, and notes that the Oneida Indian Nation is incredibly flexible and understanding about her schedule on the rare occasions when she has to tend to him. She adds that her colleagues in Food & Beverage always step-up to help, too.
Local experiences characterize Katie’s career in food service. Her work life began around the proverbial corner as a banquet cook at Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club. There, she prepped food for weddings, graduations, birthday parties, and other events. Eventually, her mother-in-law (and others) convinced her to apply for a gig at PPC. She did, and was accepted immediately.
At PPC, Katie started as a Level 1 cook in March 2018. She has worked her way up the ranks since then, learning jobs in kitchens at both Wicked Good Pizza and Burgers of Madison County. Some days she tackles specials at Burgers. Other days she mans pizza or pasta stations at Wicked.
Katie has been such a fast learner and diligent worker that she received a promotion to line cook just last month.
Her goal: sous chef, if not here at PPC, then somewhere else in the Oneida Nation Enterprises family.
Until then, Katie says she’ll continue to hone her skills. She loves the monthly “Taste of Turning Stone” event because it affords her the opportunity to learn how to prepare new foods from new cuisines in new and interesting ways.
She also jokes that while she hasn’t yet mastered the art of throwing pizza dough, someday she’ll nail it and become a pro.
“Someday I’m going to be a pizza slinger,” Katie says. We have no reason to doubt she’ll get there.