Hydrangea Kitchen may sound like an odd name for a restaurant with a menu that leans to the south of the border. But the hardy blooms with vivid colors are favorites of the mother of the Macomb student who runs it.
“My mom, Malo, did all the decorating, my dad helps manage it and my husband helps me do the shopping,” says Megan Kasprzycki, a culinary arts student set to graduate in May. “I do all the cooking. And wash the dishes.”
In 2011, at only 23, she may have seemed young to open up her own restaurant, but the hospitality industry is a part of Kasprzycki’s career DNA. Dad Randy Villareal manages the Motor City Casino Hotel in Detroit and previously ran the Biltmore in Los Angeles. One brother graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and bartends in Chicago, another is a restaurant manager in Washington and the third is a sommelier in California. Likewise, husband Peter is a catering manager for Einstein Bagels, as well as his wife’s right-hand man.
“He will close the restaurant when I have to leave early for school,” says Kasprzycki. “It takes a whole team to make this work.”
Kasprzycki starts working solo at 5:30 a.m., assisted by two servers during the breakfast and lunch rushes. It wasn’t until after she adjusted the restaurant’s hours, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., that Kasprzycki found time to attend culinary classes at Macomb. She started out at Schoolcraft, but it offered few evening classes. At Macomb, she found it wasn’t just the hours that were more accommodating.