I am a Culinary Institute of America Graduate and a hotel and restaurant veteran of
over twenty five years. I hold a B.S. in Hospitality Management from the University
of Alabama and an MBA from the University of Alabama Birmingham. I have managed, trained,
and motivated teams as small as four and as large as 120. I have successfully worked
as an executive sous chef, executive chef, and a business owner during my twenty plus
years of industry experience. I have been successfully consulting for restaurants
and U.S. government entities for the past eight years.
I have been nominated by the James Beard Foundation as one of the “Rising Stars of
American Cuisine,” a distinction only awarded to 8 chefs, less than thirty years of
age, each year. I have worked for and with celebrity clients like Morgan Freeman,
the cast of the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Though,” Cat Cora, Susan Spicer, and Robert
Plant. I have been featured in national and international magazines and newspapers,
as well as local publications, several television appearances, and made national presentations.
I have taught 5 years at the college level for the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality
Management at the University of Mississippi where my areas of instruction were Quantity
Food Management and Production, Advanced Culinary Skills, and Event Planning and Execution.
I have been teaching high school and at CCC for the past 7 years.
I also own and operate a private in-home chef service, Tu Country Catering (www.tucountrycatering.com) in Oxford, Mississippi. I have been married for 19 years to Dr. Jacqueline Craven.
We are thinking about taking a Viking River Cruise for our 22nd anniversary.