2/20/2013 01:46:00 PM

A Day in the Life: Deana Saukam, Paul Qui's Personal Manager

Austin's food world is so much bigger than the dishes we enjoy at restaurants. In fact, that's often the end of the journey for the chefs, sommeliers, farmers, gardeners and all the other people involved in the industry. That's why we want to highlight a different food-related job each week in our column "A Day in the Life." First up, Deana Saukam!

If Paul Qui is the East Side king (and Top Chef), then surely Deana Saukam is the queen. Beyond being a longtime Austinite and local personality, Saukam is Qui’s personal manager, publicist and girlfriend. In the past few months the two have traveled the world and opened a brick-and-mortar location of East Side King (ESK) at the Hole in the Wall, and they are en route to the much-anticipated opening of Qui, a 50-seat high-end restaurant slated to open in spring 2013. So what does Saukam’s day-to-day life look like? Let’s see.


7- 8 AM - Wake up, feed and play with our cats, Goose and Bear, and our new puppy, Buckingham. Buckingham is only nine weeks old right now, so we're still trying to get him acquainted to being in his new home.

8 - 11 AM - Catch up on emails. This includes ESK and QUI press and social media, catering and event emails for ESK, and other things. This week we're planning for SXSW events and SouthBites, filming with NBC's 1st Look, finalizing details for an upcoming photo shoot in our home for Food & Wine, and I am styling a fashion shoot on Friday for Downtown Austin Magazine. Busy week!

11 - 11:15 AM - Take a break and walk down to Daily Juice, a block away from where we live. I try to have a Green Sunset with added bee pollen on a daily basis. When I'm closer to Juiceland, I get the Animal Kingdom with added bee pollen. Gotta have my juice fix every day.

11:15 AM - 2 PM - More emails, computer work and social media posts for ESK and QUI. Take breaks to play with Buckingham. Convince myself that I don't actually deserve an afternoon nap. Go back to more computer work.

2 - 3 PM - Snack break. I try to find something healthy nearby, or maybe something quick. The Whole Foods fish counter is always a good snack or late lunch.

3 - 5:30 PM - QUI meetings . . . more details coming soon. :)

5:30 - 7 PM - Pilates Reformer class across the street at Ballet Austin. My best friend, Betsy, and I take private duet classes here with our Pilates instructor Amanda. She is great, and I am definitely hurting the next day. She says we complain more than any of her other students, but that we are also the most fun.

7 - 9 PM - Unwind after Pilates and figure out what's for dinner. Lately I've been lucky enough to come home and find Paul (Qui) and Tim Dornon recipe testing in our home kitchen for QUI, and I get to be their taste tester. Tonight is one of those lucky nights. I supplement with Japanese snacks like ramen chips and these gummy candies shaped like hamburgers until the dishes are ready to be "critiqued."

9 - 11 PM - TV time mixed with catching up on more emails and online shopping. Tonight I'm catching up on season 2 of Girls and purchasing a very necessary new pair of Oliver Peoples sunglasses.

11 - 12 AM - This is about the time Buckingham, Goose, Bear, and I all fall asleep while Paul watches a movie... Goodnight!

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