Meet Chef Kelsey Shade. Kelsey is a freelance chef and TikTok influencer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Kelsey received her culinary arts and culinary science degrees at The Culinary Institute of America, then went on to work at McCormick, where she worked on recipe development and taught cooking classes. Her latest achievement involved teaching at a cooking school in Italy. We sat down with Kelsey to get to know her a little better.
Could you tell us a little bit about your story? How did you discover your passion for cooking?
KS: I started cooking when I was 5 years old from my Italian great-grandmother. Cooking came very naturally to me, I loved the way it brought my family together, and I loved the creativity of creating new dishes. I always loved cooking and when I was 11 years old I decided I wanted to be a chef and at 12 I chose The Culinary Institute of America as the school I would go to. At 16, I started working for a CIA alumnus at Cured, a restaurant in San Antonio. I was trained there through the rest of high school and started at CIA in Hyde Park, NY 2 weeks after graduation. I completed my associate's degree in culinary arts in February 2018 and during that time I worked for McCormick where I taught cooking classes and did recipe development. After graduating I worked as a private chef and also went to Italy and taught at a cooking school. Then, I went back to school and earned my culinary science degree in December 2019. In January of this year, I began working for Marriott and got furloughed at the end of March. Then in May I posted on TikTok and it went viral! Now, I have 338k followers, I teach private cooking classes, write cookbooks, do consulting, and absolutely love my life!
What are the three biggest cooking and food trends you're noticing right now?
KS: Smoothie bowls, iced coffee and air fryer cooking
If you were a That's it. snack, which one would you be and why?