When life goes to Lell in a Handbasket, Lell turns to food.
Lell is a serious advocate for local farmers and sustainable food. Even though many of her recipes and meals include ingredients from far away like coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, wine, and exotic spices, making informed choices is key in everything she cooks. She believes that the obsession in America for counting calories should instead focus on counting chemicals. Common sense ought to prevail; if it is hard to pronounce then maybe you should not eat it.
Lell’s most recent project was as the chef and owner of Lell’s Café in Rock Hill, SC. The café served fresh, local, and sustainable breakfast and lunch items. The Café was a Community Supported Restaurant (CSR) and came into existence through the generous support of Angel investors, local customers, and tireless volunteers. Her prior introduction to her loyal customer base was through her kitchen tenure at Cupps’ Café. Both of these experiences changed her life for the better and brought all of the right people at exactly the right time for all of the right reasons.
In a commercial kitchen, she is captain of the ship: impatient, difficult and demanding. Lell is thankful for the brave, amazing, and tough individuals who survived working in her kitchens, and she continues to honor each of them for their contributions to the daily success of both Cupps and Lell’s Café. A chef is nothing without incredible staff and loyal customers.
In the home kitchen, Lell takes a very different approach. Patience, laughter, messy counters, and spontaneity are always on the menu. To teach another to cook is an act of thanksgiving. Her favorite memories have been formed through shared meals and social interactions around food. Hearing kitchen success stories from former students is always a welcome source of joy. An attempt to pay it forward is brought to every interaction around food preparation, and she hopes to see more young people and their children creating and sharing enjoyable meals to sustain them through the difficulties of life.
Other than feeding people, happiness is a great cup of coffee or glass of wine, a good book, and a minimum daily requirement of cat hair.