Kelly Fields is the force behind Willa Jean, a restaurant and bakery named after her grandmother, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Kelly started cooking and baking when she was young and studied under the legendary chef Susan Spicer. She worked at a number of prestigious restaurants and traveled extensively to work with lots of different chefs before she opened Willa Jean in 2015. Her hard work has been celebrated by pretty much every food media outlet there is and just a couple of weeks ago, Kelly took home a James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
In this episode, she reflects with Julia about New Orleans, about Hurricane Katrina, about mentorship and leadership, about mental health and therapy and fishing, about identity and queerness, about her dog, chocolate chip cookies, and more.
There are also answers to listeners' questions and a shoutout to SheChef, the organization started by Elle Simone Scott.