Patti Moring credits her big family for setting her on a culinary journey that resulted in a truly delicious life.
“I’m the baby of eight children. My mom didn’t really like to cook, so it was a lot of hamburgers and tuna casserole,” she recalls. “I started cooking in high school, but I never thought about culinary school. I felt I had to go to a university and get a degree.”
However, Patti’s time earning a degree in English at the University of Delaware actually allowed her to expand her love of cooking.
“I was cooking all the time for my whole sorority. The Joy of Cooking is how I learned,” she admits. “After college, I came to Ocala because my parents had retired here.”
These days, Patti is the coordinator of food services at The College of Central Florida.
“I am able to be very creative with the menu at the cafe, which is wonderful,” she says. “When I first started, it was mostly frozen foods. Now it’s all from scratch. My chicken pot pie is my most popular dish. And my soups… the soups are pretty famous. My chicken and wild rice is everyone’s favorite. It’s creamy and just kind of tastes like home. Some of the others I do are carrot ginger, potato cheddar, butternut squash, corn and crab chowder and mulligatawny. I also do an Indian coconut chicken dal that everyone loves.”
If she seems passionate about her soups, she’s not alone. Her following of foodie fans quickly grew beyond the confines of the college.
“The soups sell out every day.” she confides. “We get people coming in to eat that don’t even go there, who always ask, ‘Where else do you sell these?’ Dr. Henningsen, the president of the college, is also a big fan and was a huge supporter of me going out to do my soups on the side. So I came up with the name Butter & Broth and decided to package it in Mason jars. I took them to the farmers market and sold out every weekend.”
But the grueling pace of working a full-time job, running the college’s successful catering company, Rosemary & Thyme, as well as her own business—all while raising two teenage girls—soon took a toll.
“It got to be too much time away from my kids,” Patti says. “So I took a little break and found a way to bring Butter & Broth back that was more manageable.”
But the cooking doesn’t stop when she gets home.
“I try to go home and make a fresh meal for my kids every night,” she explains. “I have one daughter who is 15 and one who is 12. They will bring home a couple of their friends for dinner every night. It’s really nice. They’re my favorite customers.”
The Patriot Cafe is open Monday-Friday from 7:30am-2pm at The College of Central Florida › To learn about catering through Rosemary & Thyme, visit cf.edu/community/cf/conferences/ › For information on Butter & Broth, visit Patti’s Facebook page.