I grew up in a family with a deep appreciation for food, both in the way it is prepared and the people with whom we enjoy it. Memories are often tied to meals in our family and I am passionate about reclaiming the art of the family dinner as something that can be prepared and enjoyed together.
I attended UNC Chapel Hill and double-majored in Psychology and Communications, which was a great way to spend my four years there, but it didn’t exactly point me on a specific career path. After graduation in 2003, I worked for a few years at a law firm as a litigation paralegal and realized my work was not my passion and I wanted both if possible. I thought about some of my childhood dreams and remembered playing with my Easy Bake Oven and telling my parents I wanted to be a chef. I’m sure I had plenty of dream jobs back then from reporter to artist, but working with food and with my hands in some creative way felt natural. I threw any reservations out the window and applied to culinary school. I chose Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, packed up everything, and hit a new city without knowing anyone. While it may sound cliche, I found my passion. I enjoyed every new class and technique, even the two weeks spent in the cold 40 degree meat cutting lab! While in school I worked in a few uptown restaurants and did my internship with a catering company in the Lake Norman area. After graduation in 2007, I got married and moved to Greenville, SC.
I can remember talking to my husband about living in Greenville or Charlotte after the wedding. His job was in Greenville and my career path had many options. The culinary industry was growing in Charlotte, but we knew Greenville was on the verge of something special too. After nearly 15 years in Greenville, we couldn’t be happier with our choice! My first job in Greenville was at American Grocery Restaurant. My time as a line cook in that kitchen laid the foundation for an appreciation of local products and soul-comforting food. I spent the next few years as the chef at Pettigru Place Bed and Breakfast and loved being a part of both the food preparation and also the hospitality of this industry.
Our first daughter was born in the fall of 2010 and I received my favorite job title, mother. Our second daughter was born in the spring of 2015. These girls bring much happiness, joy, and chaos to our house and our dinner table. Our days are busy, but we gather around the table most evenings to enjoy a meal together. We keep it simple many nights, but strive to eat wholesome food with quality ingredients and teach our girls a love and appreciation for a good meal.
After talking to friends, it seems that sometimes we just need some inspiration to get back in our kitchens, try new ingredients, and make the family meal the priority it should be. And so Wild Abandon Kitchen was born. My classes focus on ingredients and techniques that will give you confidence in the kitchen and bring variety to your weekly menus. Good food shouldn’t be complicated. Often it’s simply the combination of good technique and the right products. I’m here to teach you both! And my personal chef services will give you peace of mind when you simply don’t have the time to cook, but want the best for your family.
Wild Abandon Kitchen