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22 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • APRIL 2017 a pro you should know R estaurateur Amy Morton, daugh- ter of Chicago restaurant legend Arnie Morton, has more than 25 years of experience in the res- taurant industry. She learned the business from the ground up, working nearly every position at Morton's, from server to direc- tor of recruitment and training, before her father sold the restaurant in 1987. She also oversaw staff at her father's other restau- rants, Arnie's Restaurant, Morton's Market Place, Arnie's North and First Street Pier. Amy opened her first restaurant, The Café, in 1988 with her brother Michael Morton (of Nine Steakhouse and La Cave) in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood. She went on to open her best-known endeavors, Mirador and The Blue Room, in the Old Town neighborhood soon after in 1989. After selling Mirador, Morton founded Morton-Van Housen Consulting (MVC) in 1995, working with top chefs and restaurateurs around the world. After taking a 10-year hiatus to raise her 3 daughters, Morton returned to the industry to open the seasonally driven res- taurant Found Kitchen and Social House, helmed by Chef Nicole Pederson, in Evanston, Ill. Most recently, she collabo- rated with Pederson to open The Barn, a modern steakhouse and meat-centric concept in the same city in 2016. FE&S: Growing up, what drew you to the restaurant industry? AM: I loved being with Dad and it was a bonus that I made a little money when I was young. I actually started working with him when I was 14. I think what I liked the most was the people and second was the food. It was also really great having every day be something new. FE&S: What were some important lessons you learned from your father that you use today? AM: How to seat a room so that it always looks as busy as possible with the least number of guests, that the guest is always right, and to keep up the maintenance — even of the smallest things. FE&S: We're going to assume you mean equipment maintenance too, right? AM: Of course! FE&S: What were some of the steps that led you to open Found? AM: Lots of soul searching, location hunt- ing and constant rewrites of my concept. FE&S: What drew you back to the in- dustry after the time off? AM: Actually it was my old friend and chef, Art Smith, who put the idea in my mind. He saw how into organic food I was — before it was hip — and thought it would be really cool. FE&S: How do you describe the difference between Found and The Barn? AM: Found has lots of eye candy, it's very eclectic, busy and feminine, and laid out more like a house with a variety of rooms. Found is a farm-to-table, shared plate res- taurant with an ever-changing menu and the food at Found is really quite complex. Everything about The Barn is a nod to my Dad, but it's my way. I always knew I would do something with steak and meat in gen- eral, but it took me a long time to figure out what that was. The Barn is simple, structured and masculine. The small meat- centric menu will remain constant, with Amy Morton Carves Out Meat-Centric Niche Amy Morton Owner Found Kitchen and Social House, and The Barn