Welcome Liz

Hello all!

Channeling Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell when I think about this year’s Epic Man….

“I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so scared!!!!”

Honestly I watched the Epic Man team last year with a lot of envy. I’ve always been a big runner and enjoyed the challenge and thrill of marathons but I wanted to take it above and beyond and be a part of something, so- well- epic this year.

I’m not a big cyclist and have kayaked maybe twice in my life, but I’m amped for the challenge! It is very much so my style to throw myself in over my head. Sink or swim! That mentality and level of intensity seems to be what all you other crazy Epicurians posses. I can’t wait to meet everyone!

I’m big on challenges. A year ago, just before Epic Man in March of 2011, I opened Petite Jacqueline, a quaint little French Bistro in the heart of Longfellow Square here in Portland.

I opened the place with my partners Steve and Michelle Cory whom I worked for as the general manager at 555 for several years. As Michelle and Steve are still predominantly at 555, the responsibility of overseeing the day-to-day production at the Bistro has fallen on me. Managing a staff with strong personalities and operating out of a very old building creates unexpected challenges almost daily, but it’s all worth it!

This year we were nominated for Best New Restaurant in the Country by the James Beard Foundation, while we did not make the final cut, the idea that my establishment could compete with some of the hottest new trends in NYC and San Fran was pretty astounding! More importantly, to be nominated as a restaurant was a huge deal. My staff is a hard working team and we all came together to make it what it is.

While I spend more or less 80 hours a week at the Bistro, I spend what free time I have running, cooking or spending time with my friends. More often then not I combine all three at once! Last year, Will and I started our annual birthday runs, in which we run however many miles we are turning that year.

While I have overcome many challenges at the Bistro this year, this years’ epic man is about overcoming a physical challenge that I probably physically shouldn’t be able to do given my lack of training. The idea that I will be conquering it with such an equally driven team is what is going to get me through this 12-hour bike ride!

And because one is never enough…I’m running the Big Sur marathon two weeks later on April 29th! Anyone want to