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Bold, spicy, and fresh describe both Chef Vee Rich (Vawanda Richardson) and her cooking. Her kitchen is a place where the flavors of the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and Asia are fused. Nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves marry beautifully with basil, oregano, and rosemary. Fresh ginger root, lemongrass, and lime leaves create a giant melting pot of savory flavor.

 

Chef Vee grew up with a passion for cooking. She watched Julia Childs with her aunt, who was always in the family kitchen, stirring up concoctions in stovetop pans, frying fish outside, and baking sweet memories. Little Chef Vee served as her sous chef, soaking up every recipe and testing each sauce, dish, and dessert before serving them to the rest of the family. Weddings, birthdays, and holidays found Chef Vee beside her aunt, apron to apron, experimenting with new ways to turn their love for family, into a dish from the heart. So, by the time she was 12, Chef Vee longed for a crockpot and culinary tools – not the cell phones and tablets coveted by her generation. 

While training for a year at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, Chef Vee began in banquets, moved quickly to the grand dining room, and eventually the golf club where the PGA Greenbrier classic is held. Returning to Atlanta, Chef Vee began working as a Sous Chef at Atlanta’s very distinguished Commerce Club. Chef Vee again redefined her success. Growing up in the shadows of entrepreneurs in construction auto mechanics, she always knew that fulfilling her ambitions meant having a business and a restaurant of her own.

 

While serving as Executive Sous Chef for Centurion Restaurant Group, Chef Vee launched a catering business, a nonprofit, a bottled pepper sauce, and a book for busy working mothers. Chef Vee mantra is Mise en place, a French culinary phrase for “everything in its place.” Technically, it is a method to assist with organizing and preparing ingredients to maximize taste and deliver an extraordinary and delightful experience. For Chef Vee, mise en place is much more. It is her way of life – everything in its place and everything in her heart.

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