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Amarillo Club to honor Texas Panhandle legend with series of Sunday brunches

Mrs. Bromley's Dining Room
Ruby Mae Bromley spent her youth cooking on a chuckwagon for cowboys on the JA ranch in the early 1900s. Starting July 14, the Amarillo Club will begin a series of Sunday brunches featuring special adaptations of Mrs. Bromley's world-famous recipes.

"When you think about it, Mrs. Bromley was one of the first celebrity chefs," Amarillo Club Culinary Director Becky McKinley said. "She had celebrity status in a very unusual time and in an unusual industry." McKinley worked for Bromley throughout her high school years.

Bromley started cooking for the Clarendon College basketball team around 1957. As her popularity grew, so did her restaurant. People would eventually travel thousands of miles to get a taste of it, earning her a world-wide reputation. Before long, Mrs. Bromley's Dining Room would become a nation-wide destination.

"Every Sunday, I would drive to the Clarendon airport and pick people up who had flown in to try her roast beef or famous cobbler," McKinley recalled. Bromley's restaurant earned headlines in the March 1977 edition of Texas Monthly and a write up in the July 1972 issue of Ford Times, a
popular travel magazine distributed across the nation filled with must-eat locations and attractions.

"The story goes that so many planes were coming in, they had to lengthen the runway in Clarendon to accommodate them," Amarillo Club Board of Directors President Jerry Hodge said. "Chances are if you were eating at Mrs. Bromley's you were eating with a big-wig or someone famous."

"Another thing that made her unique was her passion for using local goods," McKinley said. "She was a pioneer of the farm-to-table method of cooking, buying as much of her ingredients locally as possible, which is something we too are going to focus on"

The Amarillo Club will be working with Snack Pak 4 Kids, whose founder Dyron Howell also worked with Mrs. Bromley, to source some of its ingredients. They will get fresh ingredients from the Hope Garden, which is a joint effort of Snack Pak 4 Kids and Heal the City, keeping with
Bromley’s farm-to-table approach and highlighting the impact she had on our area.

"Our Executive Sous Chef, Lauren Whitledge, has been working hard adding her own touch to some of Mrs. Bromley's more popular dishes," McKinley said. "Of course, this includes her famous fried chicken and biscuits. Our area is in for a real treat."

As the club undergoes a significant renovation, both Hodge and McKinley said this is just one of the many examples of something residents will only be able to find at the club.

"Our goal is to make the Amarillo Club the destination for unique events and the best dining experience you can find in the Panhandle," McKinley said. "And we thought there's no better way to start those efforts than by honoring one of our true local Panhandle legends.”

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