Leigh Orleans is a private chef from Alexandria, Virginia. Before earning a degree in Culinary Arts from the Savannah Culinary Institute, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Business at UNC Chapel Hill. She is now working towards her Master’s degree in Wine & Beverage Management with the Culinary Institute of America.
While her career began in the corporate banking world, Chef Leigh soon realized that financial advising did not fulfill her need to create and express herself artistically. Thus, she chose to leave banking behind and begin a career in the culinary arts.
Leigh now travels all over the country as a private chef. Additionally, her husband’s job as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the Army means frequent moves and many opportunities to experience new areas and cuisine. Travel has always been the greatest inspiration for Leigh’s culinary creations. Her passion for travel was reinforced by study abroad experiences in Spain and South Africa. She even met her husband on a trip to Mexico (turns out you CAN find true love on spring break in a hot tub). Together, they have traveled extensively, including spending a month exploring South East Asia.
Today, Leigh finds herself primarily drawn towards Middle Eastern cuisine, as her cooking style prioritizes fresh ingredients and bold flavors. She believes a Mezze spread is the perfect food to share amongst friends.