The Paper photo by Lori Poteet 
Isaac Hook is an athletic trainer with a side of chef when he cooks for his bed-and-breakfast guests.
The Paper photo by Lori Poteet
Isaac Hook is an athletic trainer with a side of chef when he cooks for his bed-and-breakfast guests.

North Montgomery’s athletic trainer shows different side

Isaac Hook has cooked since he was little. He cooked with his mom, he cooked for his college roommates and now he cooks for a bed-and-breakfast.

Along State Road 32, between Crawfordsville and Smartsburg, lies a 143-year-old house called ‘The Queen and I’.

Residents include Isaac Hook, Holly Hook, two basset hounds, turkeys, chickens and guineafowl. Isaac is the athletic trainer at North Montgomery and Holly Hook teaches math at Zionsville Middle School. In their spare time, they run ‘The Queen and I’ b-n-b.

“We weren’t necessarily looking for a bed-and-breakfast but we were looking to move into the country,” Isaac said.

The couple moved to the 1873 Italianate home in 2014 and opened their business in the spring of 2015. They rent out four rooms on Airbnb from $66 to $88 per room.

“It’s too nice of a home not to share so we do a part-time bed-and-breakfast, full-time hospitality,” he continued.

The Italianate style copies the styles of rural Italian villas with a hipped roof and tall, narrow windows. The home was restored in the 2000s by Doug Dawson and was prepped for a bed and breakfast. Isaac and Holly installed the heating and cooling system and ‘The Queen and I’ was ready to go.

They average about a dozen customers a month, ranging anywhere from couples on weekend getaways to Nucor contractors to guests from Italy and China.

All have a plethora of breakfast options. Menu items include farm-fresh eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, fruit salad, bread and more.

“I’ve been cooking as long as I can remember,” Isaac said. “My parents tell stories that that’s what I was always into.”

His favorite part about cooking – eating.

“It’s just so fun to cook good food then you eat good food,” he said.

Jason from Fort Wayne, Ind. wrote an Airbnb review and described the breakfast as fantastic, writing “It was way more personal and well-presented than any hotel breakfast ever could be.”

The breakfast prep does not end in ‘The Queen and I’ kitchen, however. The past two years, North Montgomery football has had rainout games and Hook prepared breakfast for the whole team the next morning before they picked the game back up.

Aside from cooking, Isaac said his favorite part is interacting with the guests and meeting individuals from all parts of the world and all walks of life.

Holly described an experience with guests from Naperville, Ill. who were in town for the Big 10 championship in the fall.

“They turned the corner into the kitchen and looked out the window and just said, ‘Oh my god, that’s so much open space,’” she explained. “It’s just interesting to hear different perspectives of people coming through when they live in a big city. That’s what we’ve known our whole life and something that we take for granted all the time and they thought was absolutely beautiful.”

The parlors-turned-rooms and the servant quarters (where Isaac and Holly stay) add some of that extra country feel.

This feel was exactly what Isaac and Holly were looking for when they were searching for a house. Isaac added that the unique challenges are a nice change.

“I really enjoy the whole aspect of the small farm with the chickens and the eggs because it is completely different,” he said.

This is something he encounters in athletic training as well.

“It’s never the same injuries and that changes within the seasons,” he said. “That variety I like about my real job. Then I enjoy the country and farming and being able to do random stuff. I think that athletic training requires a variety of skill sets because we see all sorts of injuries in all sorts of different sports so it’s not very specialized. I think that jack-of-all-trades transfers over to here.”

From wrapping ankles and icing arms to raising chickens and cooking gluten-free meals, Hook does it all.