Casey Copeland 2019 The Avenue I Graduated from Texas Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, Texas in 2008Working my way up in the career field right after, I started working at the Clinton Presidential Library around 2009-2010 as a line cook. Quickly honed my craft and rose in the ranks to Sous Chef and Catering Supervisor. Worked there for 3 years before moving on to Pleasant Valley Country Club for my first Executive Chef Position. Worked there for 2 years running multiple kitchens and catering programs, before moving on to Hot Springs Country Club as Executive Chef. Worked there for a year before deciding I wanted to get out of the club scene and find out who it is that I wanted to identify as a chef. So I took a year off to move to Dallas staging and working in several different restaurants to hone my skills before coming back to Arkansas to be Executive Chef at SO Restaurant & Bar where I started to blossom in the Culinary Scene in Little Rock, receiving multiple awards and write ups. Also winning Arkansas Iron Chef 2015 and runner up 2016. I have been an Arkansas Hospitality Association Board Member for 3 years, where I am working hard to do my part of making a difference for our industry. I opened The Avenue Feb.10 2017. It is my first restaurant from ground up that I fully designed and have complete creative control. I am not only the Executive Chef but I am the complete operations manager and overseer. I wear many hats as they would say lol. I have been passionate about cooking since I was a small child, learning from my mother and grandmother. It wasn't till after high school and a failed attempt at an accountant degree that I ventured down the path of Culinary School where I truly realized my potential and the place in life that I could truly succeed. Since Culinary school, it has been nothing but pure determination to be one of the best chefs that this state has to offer. While giving back to the community and being a positive role model for our culinary youth, and an advocate for farm to table exposure for all the great farms that Arkansas has to offer! I have on-site aeroponic gardens as well as bee hives on my rooftop where hopefully next year our rooftop bar will be finished and I can hold private dinners exposing people to the great benefits of eating fresh locally grown product. My mission is to elevate the norm of the dining experience Hot Springs, AR is used too, in hopes to attract more people to this great state and city to solely have a wonderful food trip experience.