Jennifer Hill Booker

 

Jennifer IMG_9973Written by Colleen Ann McNally | Photo by Derek Wintermute

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker’s menu of professional accomplishments is longer than a family of four’s weekly grocery list. In the past month alone, she traveled to Italy for the Terra Madre conference — also called the Olympics of Food — and her debut cookbook hit shelves.

The Lilburn resident describes “Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent” as a tongue-in-cheek mix, inspired by her formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and her Oklahoma heritage. Booker jokes her passion for cooking began as soon as she tasted food, and still recalls first attempts at “Joy of Cooking” recipes and begging to lick her grandmother’s spoon in the kitchen before Thanksgiving dinner.

Booker has turned her good taste into a dynamic career path, one she trail-blazed. “It’s hard because it is still a male-dominated industry, but I knew this is what I wanted to do,” she said. “I’m headstrong, so I figured I’m going to do it whether y’all want me here or not.”

Turns out many people want her in their kitchens. Her personal chef and catering company, Your Resident Gourmet, offers private lessons for individuals or groups. She teaches fellow food lovers at Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta, Grayson Technical High School and at various festivals and public events. Despite a fast-paced life, the flourishing celebrity chef is an advocate for Slow Food, and was named one of four Georgia Grown Executive Chefs in 2013 by the state’s Department of Agriculture.

In her own kitchen, she enjoys helping hands from her teenaged sous chefs. The single mom said instilling values of hard work and empowerment in her daughters are key ingredients in her recipe for success.

“We laugh in our family and always say, ‘Make sure you take care of your business,’” Booker said, nodding to household chores and earning good grades.

So, what’s next on her business plate? “A kitchen studio where I can continue to give cooking classes and demo.” Bon appétit!


Hair and makeup by Studio NV Salon | Fuchsia crochet trim top dress by Bohemia | Shane Co. 14K white gold amethyst and diamond pendant with matching ring and earrings; Endless Strand freshwater pearl necklace; sterling silver cuff

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  1. E. H. Williams11-12-2014

    Congratulations on the nomination! Recognition from your peers is its own reward… next stop, that studio.