Chef Leslie was one of the original members of the team when Sanford House at Cherry Street opened in 2014. After a year with Sanford House, Leslie got additional experience working as Chef for Grand Valley’s Phi Sigma Sigma sorority chapter. She also has a wealth of experience working with several prominent restaurants in the Grand Rapids area (including Nantucket Baking Company, Charley’s Crab, Reserve Wine and Food, and Winchester). She has worked as a personal chef in the home kitchens of several Grand Rapids’ families. Back at Sanford House full time, Chef Leslie is in her element – cooking up healthy food and eating habits to those new to recovery.
Leslie earned a degree in Advertising and Public Relations from Grand Valley State University. After six years in the marketing field, Leslie decided to pursue a second degree in Culinary Arts at Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. Leslie also holds a Personal and Private Chef Certification.
Leslie is passionate about working in collaboration with her clients, and is knowledgeable about tailoring meals to a variety of dietary restrictions and nutritional needs. Leslie describes her cooking style as “approachable meals with flair… I use modern techniques and fresh, local ingredients.”
Leslie says, “In early recovery, food can be a form of therapy… Meals, flavors, and even familiar smells evoke good memories. My goal at Sanford House is to create new and lasting impressions on our residents as they begin a healthy life in recovery.”