How I Went From High Heels To Crocs…
Born and raised in Minnesota, I’ve always had an itch for travel and adventure. Growing up, I thought I was going to become a famous actress and have an Oscar by the time I was 25. I’m 27 now and feel like Leonardo DiCaprio – I probably need to realize it’s not going to happen.
Just wait — it gets better.
I went to college in Dallas and graduated with a double major in film and advertising (my parents insisted on getting a “proper” degree, so I got 2). I then moved to Los Angeles to pursue my true purpose. However, I was too afraid to try acting. I got a job as a receptionist for a movie studio and worked as an assistant in nearly every department there. Then I switched jobs to work for a small digital marketing company marketing horror films.
I should tell you, I’m a Pollyanna and “Hallmark Channel” kind of person. So how exactly did I end up there? Well — I guess you could say false advertising. After I had fulfilled my 6-month freelancing contract, I knew I needed a change.
Culinary school kept coming back into my mind. I had taken a croissant making class at a Sur La Table in LA one weekend and something clicked. A bug had bitten me and it bit hard. I was obsessed with cooking. It was a great stress reliever and I saw how happy it could make people.
When I explained to my family and friends that I was thinking of walking away from all the progress I had made in LA, the response was very… mixed. My Dad had me make a spreadsheet analyzing what the difference in my income would be over the course of 5 and 10 years. It wasn’t a pretty picture.
To be fair – I had never worked in a kitchen a day in my life. My parents had a good friend who was a chef and heard about what I was doing. He offered to mentor me for two weeks in his kitchen before I started culinary school in New York. Those two weeks meant so much to me that I ended up working for him for 2 years after I graduated culinary school.
During the last semester of culinary school, I took the required wine class. It changed my life. That class, and the professor, opened a whole world that I had never appreciated. I had always enjoyed wine, but this went beyond that to really understand it.
After graduating, I worked as a tournant (a cook that studies all areas of the kitchen including pastry, banquet-style food, special VIP meals, butchery, the hot-line, and others). By May of 2019, I was promoted to be a Sous Chef. It’s been a great experience to learn how to create menus, manage people, and improve customer service. In May of 2020 I was asked to open a small restaurant and wine retail space. Once I had successfully opened the venue, I found a new Head Chef and left to start The Somm Chef.
Now I am ready for the next phase. I curate custom dining experiences that take place in a client’s home to generate memorable meals with friends and family alike. My goal is that these experiences will bring people together in a way that helps them to live in the moment.