Keeping Peach Blossom Flowering
The flavors of China are on full display every night inside Peach Blossom restaurant, and Manager Sharon Liang is a big part of the overall experience.
Sharon was born in Shanghai and grew up in Chengdu, meaning she has first-hand knowledge of how an authentic Chinese-food restaurant experience should unfold. She emigrated from China to the United States—to Rochester—in 1998, and has worked almost exclusively for the Oneida Indian Nation since then.
“It is a privilege to be able to share Chinese food with guests every night,” she said.
This is Sharon’s second stint with Peach Blossom; she worked at the restaurant the year it opened (1999), then came back again in 2008. In the interim, she was a manager at Rodizio, Turning Stone’s former Brazilian Steakhouse, and spent four years in Mississippi working as a server and manager at a pan-Asian restaurant at the property now known as Horseshoe Tunica.
In her current role, she is responsible for all day-to-day operations of Peach Blossom, from scheduling servers to interacting with guests.
“My job is to make sure guests feel comfortable here and enjoy their meals,” she said. “Many of our Asian guests aren’t comfortable speaking in English so I am constantly interacting with them to find out how things are, what I can get them, and ask how I might be able to make their experience even better.”
In particular, Sharon said she loves serving guests Peking duck, which is one of the Peach Blossom specialties. She described this dish as “true to real life” and said it reminds her of her childhood.
She added regular guests also love seafood—lobster, crab, scallops, and more.
Of all the things she likes about working for the Oneida Indian Nation, Sharon cited the camaraderie with her Peach Blossom colleagues as top on the list. She said she feels her co-workers are “family,” and credited them with keeping her around for so long.
“I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else or with people other than these people who have become my family over the years,” she said. “In addition to working at a restaurant that helps me feel connected to my Chinese culture, spending every workday with these great people is my favorite thing about this job.”