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My restaurant/culinary journey…


My entire working life has always been in restaurants and started right here in O’Neill back in high school.  After high school, I worked in several restaurants in Lincoln and Omaha before one day deciding, hey, maybe I really could stay in the restaurant world as a career.  I enrolled in culinary school in Omaha at Metro Community College in 2005 and there the real passion for food and this industry really began to grow.


Upon starting culinary school, I had the great fortune of working under an amazing chef who helped to fuel the creative fire.  I was always excited to see what new foods we would be cooking up each day.  It was here that I began to see what was really out there in the culinary world and how the restaurant industry really works.  My passion for the endless possibilities with food and people’s connection with it gave me the drive to build a career in restaurants.


In 2006, I made a giant leap and moved to Phoenix, Arizona where I attended and completed culinary school at the Art Institute of Phoenix.  In late 2007, I graduated as an Outstanding Culinarian with honors with my degree in Culinary Arts.  Immediately upon graduation I received my first management position and never looked back.  During my time in the Phoenix area I managed at several different steakhouses (Morton’s, Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House, Longhorn Steakhouse), a full-service restaurant (Pita Jungle), and a luxury golf resort with everything from fine dining to casual Mexican food (The Boulders Resort and Spa).  Throughout the years I spent time working in the kitchen and in the dining room helping to create the ultimate guest experiences. 


Arizona was supposed to be a two-year experience for school before returning home, but sunny weather and excellent restaurant experiences kept me busy for a decade.  However, a desire to be closer to my family and friends brought ideas of new opportunities for me.  I had always hoped that I would own my own restaurant someday, and that plan has brought me back to my hometown where I grew up.  It has brought me back to O’Neill to live my dream by opening the Holt County Grill. 


I am extremely excited to invite everyone into the Holt County Grill to share my passion for food.  I look forward to producing classic local favorites and introducing some new and fresh ideas with my menus.  This is an exciting time and I am thrilled to have you all along for the ride.



Megan Hacker


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320 E Douglas, O'Neill, NE 68763             PH: 402-340-8413           © 2017 HOLT COUNTY GRILL

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