From Our Chefs

Chef Kelley Jefferson: A Love of Taking Care of Others Through Food

food spread created by chef

Meet Chef Kelley

Chef Kelley Jefferson, a lover of theme parties and helping others, oversees College Chefs accounts all over the country as a Regional Director.

While the science behind cooking peaks her interest, the real passion for Chef Kelley comes through feeding people and taking care of them. She grew up in a setting where love and family came together around food and felt called to bring that energy to the next level, beyond the family setting to the public and reach a greater number of people with it.

“We’re a company of chefs and it’s important, because we know every part of this job. From dishwashers to directors, we’ve done it, we’ve seen it. So, you’re not talking to anyone who doesn’t know how a kitchen runs... or about food in general!”

Taking Care of Others

Chef Kelley’s love of helping others isn’t just expressed through feeding amazing meals, she also has a knack for teaching. She worked as a culinary teacher for some time, a passion she’s able to translate to her job now! She shows this passion for learning and growth through an openness to learn and be a student of the craft at all times.

“Even though I’m in operations, I’m talking about food all day with people all over the country. We’re talking about food, we’re looking at pictures so it keeps [that passion] alive. I get to teach and mentor a little bit as we go. [...] Look, there are so many ways to do all kinds of things. I learn [from chefs] everyday which is fun.”

Focus on Fun and Connection

Chef Kelley has a plethora of culinary degrees, including a wine degree! When she’s heading up a kitchen, she focuses on food pairings and the OVERALL fun atmosphere rather than specific flavors. Food really is a tool to bring people together and share amazing memories.

“We really do love our craft. When you love stuff like that, it’s easy to try and [share] that with someone else.”

For Kelley, her job extends beyond just giving someone something to eat. It stretches out and connects people across cultures and geographies.

“I have chef friends across the country now. Not only [can I] learn different food regionally [...] I can go to almost any state in this country now and I know chefs. [...] It’s an amazing part of what we do: getting that network built across the country.”
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