Don’t burn the biscuits
This personal chef will never stop growing … or cooking
Chef Lynn, you have become known as “The East Coast Chef.” That is a pretty high pinnacle to have achieved. What inspired you to climb that mountain? My Nanny was my greatest inspiration as a businesswoman and cook. She grew up around the Naval Yard in the Irish, Italian, and Jewish parts of Brooklyn before her family moved to Bergen County, New Jersey. She was a mover and a shaker in her day, being a “Rosie the Riveter” type of gal. Nanny came from a family of strong women who always worked. Her father told her Celtic Irish stories and that she could do anything she put her mind to doing. During WW2, she worked in a butcher shop where they needed to save the extra fat and metals to give to the military during the war. Later, she wanted to drive a semi-truck and the boss said, “Sure, if you can get into the truck cab.” Well, at just five feet tall, she put her hand on her hips and said, “Do you need a secretary for your trucking business?” She got the job. She always had extra potatoes to throw into the pot if others stopped by for dinner – she was a great cook and let me cook with her. Her classic advice to me growing up as an entrepreneur was to make sure all of your bills are paid, and if you have five dollars left over, that is a success. The ‘five dollars extra’ has changed over the years, yet the advice and hard work to achieve my goals has never changed.
Of the many challenges you faced during your journey, what would you say the biggest was? Finding balance. I put so much time and effort into building my business that I find it challenging to make time for my personal life. It has been a process and I can’t say I have completely overcome this challenge but by making a conscious effort to make time for friends, family and most importantly, myself, I am on the right track. I think my Nanny would be proud of how far I have come.
You are a role model for young businesswomen and future chefs. What is the one piece of advice you would give them? Never burn bridges. You never know when a previous bridge will appear on your future journey and path.
Three Lessons Learned
Many young women look up to you as someone who made it. What lessons can you share with them?
1. Learn, teach and grow. I have learned so much from so many people and continue to do so. With that knowledge, I get great joy when I teach people what I have learned and can help them find their dreams and goals.
2. “Don’t burn the Biscuits” is my mantra to remind me when I am Chef Lynn. It reminds me to stay focused.
3. Never give up. This is easier said than done, but it is true. There were times when I thought the barriers and challenges in front of me were insurmountable. I looked for help when I needed it and I have learned to take a break to recharge.
Personal chef/business woman – The East Coast Chef