Meet Our Chefs

HI, I'M CHEF ABBYE.

I’m a little salty, but I try for charming.

I love: Jesus, salt air + sand, my people and I AM HERE for Grey’s Anatomy and New Girl.

I’ve learned a thing or two about southern cooking, keeping my table full and my heart open, parenting in less than ideal circumstances, and starting over after I thought I had it all figured out. But the truth is, we never ever get it all figured out, right? Right. I’m glad we agree.

A few years ago, I found myself smack dab in the middle of an early mid-life crisis. I quit my 13 year career as a creative director and I didn’t know who the hell I was anymore. But I instinctively knew what I needed to do.

I needed to feed people. I needed to be able to show love in ways that made sense to me. My knives and cast iron pans were almost as good as my therapist’s couch and I was lucky enough to have friends and family that didn’t mind being fed so that I could recover.

I think I opened my doors at LEAST every other Sunday night for months and months. Food was flying out of my kitchen. People were sitting around my piano or on the floor with a guitar. Friends brought their pups and things were chaotic and perfect. Feeding people was how I could love and how I could forget and how I could stay connected when I so desperately felt alone.

I discovered that investing in other people in whatever way I could allowed me to heal more quickly and thoroughly than if I secluded myself hoping that people would come to ME. {and they did come… but it’s such a reciprocal thing, you know? I don’t think they would have/could have come if I didn’t do the work to keep the heavy door to my heart open.}

I started catering and baking for friends and family and then stumbled onto food blogging when my friends kept asking me for recipes. Then I managed a restaurant bakery and catering department in a super trendy downtown spot. (That was a crazy baptism by fire right there…. I learned SO MUCH) From there I helped start a small new restaurant, making all of their desserts, handmade pastas, soups and such before I took another trip around the blogging/teaching sun on my own. I thought I was done with professional kitchen life… but noooooo. I was recruited to manage the large scale wholesale bakery/culinary kitchen/catering departments for a local farm to table company! I met so many amazing people there that I still love to work with today.

But ultimately I have always known that my passion is in food and lifestyle writing, teaching others to cook and creating welcoming environments for others to have special in-home culinary events that celebrate amazing food and their community. THIS is what makes my heart just go all pitter-patter!

So thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping by to hang out for a bit. Let’s just pretend you’re sitting around our table sharing a meal… take your time {and your shoes off} and stay for a bit.

I sure do love you. (especially YOU!)

-Abbye

CHEF ALLI

Chef Alli was born on the East Coast, where, as a young girl she grew up with a passion for the ocean, adventure, and FOOD passed on by her father. She began cooking at a young age, preparing meals for her family of five, and continues to create beautiful dishes with love and artistry. For the past 7 years, Alli has lived in the Virgin Islands, with her husband, where she was a Chef on a Private Yacht, and has obtained her Certificate in Culinary Arts from Ashburton Academy in England. With family members from all over the world, she considers her style of cooking a fusion from Spanish-Caribbean-Southern and always uses the most important ingredient, love!

Alli loves to bring a fusion of flavors, learned throughout the years of travel to your table.

Chef Alli is currently working as a yacht chef on charter with her husband, Dan in the Virgin Islands! She contributes to the Salt + Charm family with content creation, menu and recipe development and moral support for Abbye + Emily as needed. (which is often) She’s the best!

CHEF EMILY

Emily comes to us with a lifetime of experience and a whole lot of southern hospitality and charm. She was raised in a family full of culinary experts from the barbecue pit to the bakery. While living in Nashville, she owned and operated the Nashville Tea Room and has extensive experience in catering and restaurant management. When she and her husband Ron moved their family to Wilmington, fate put her in the same commercial kitchens as Abbye for a while and they have been making food magic together ever since. She is the mother of two handsome boys and two gorgeous girls (and one sassy pup), loves to serve others in her church and neighborhood and definitely keeps us all sane and laughing.

Emily is one of our in-home personal chefs, assists with our Sunday meal prep and delivery, she is our resident specialty cake expert and serves as our private events coordinator. (basically she does all the things and does them all well)