Celebrated author and chef Jennifer Hill Booker is living out her dream these days in Atlanta. But she’s never forgotten what it required to make that dream a reality.
“I attended OSU Institute of Technology’s Culinary Arts program on a full scholarship,” Booker said. “Without it I would not have been able to attend culinary school.”
The Jennifer Hill Booker Culinary Arts Scholarship, founded in 2016, aims to help culinary students pursue their passion, just as she has. Booker is the owner and executive chef of Your Resident Gourmet and author of two cookbooks: Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent and Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow.
“I've found through my career that a solid education leads to a solid career, one that supports yourself, your family and even your community,” she said.
At OSUIT, Booker remembers being invited to cook at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. “It was such a huge deal! We were these fresh, inexperienced culinary students in charge of preparing meals for some pretty famous people. I remember having such a wonderful time and feeling so proud of all we accomplished that week.”
After graduating, she attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in France, where she refined her culinary style.
“When people compliment me on my success, they often attribute it to attending Le Cordon Bleu-Paris. Although Le Cordon Bleu helped me polish my culinary skills, I have to remind them that my culinary foundation is from OSUIT, a technical college. That's where I built my strong foundation, due to a strong culinary arts program and some outstanding chef instructors.”
Booker lives in Atlanta and has taught culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu-Atlanta. She is also a Georgia Grown Executive Chef for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the Culinary Explorer for the Georgia Department of Tourism and Travel, is the founder of Southern Divas of the New South™️ Dinner Series, and is the James Beard Foundation No Waste Impact Fellow.
*photo of Jennifer by Kate Blohm*