Ellie Basch & Jannequin Bennett
Ellie Basch grew up in a family of Chinese-Indonesian cooks. She began her cooking career at The Southern Inn in Lexington, VA, and worked on every kitchen duty, from making sandwiches to line cooking to baking breads. With her extensive knowledge of spices and herbs, Ellie developed her signature style: fresh, flavorful and healthy. Ellie launched Everyday Gourmet in 2002. In 2012, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs selected Ellie to receive the Barbara Tropp Memorial Internship to study Chinese cuisine. Ellie spent 3 weeks cooking at the Black Sesame Kitchen in Beijing and a week exploring the food of Fujian, the province from which Ellie’s grandparents emigrated. Throughout her Richmond cooking career, Ellie has worked at the Jefferson Hotel and The Bull and The Bear Club. She also designed and launched New Visions New Venture’s Breadwinners Program, a non-profit program that helps low income women start their own food business.
Chef Jannequin Bennett honed her culinary skills in New York, working in restaurants from SoHo to the Upper East Side. She came to Richmond as executive chef and general manager of TJ's Restaurant at the Jefferson Hotel. Following nine years at TJ's, she became the Executive Chef and Prepared Foods Manager at Ellwood Thompson's. While at ET, Jannequin developed recipes, opened a production bakery, revamped and expanded the prepared food department and opened a coffee shop. Her books, Very Vegetarian, and The Complete Vegan Kitchen remain popular among all vegetable lovers, omnivore and vegan alike.
After receiving the 2011 Barbara Tropp Award to study Chinese Cuisine, she traveled in China, working in restaurants and cooking schools in both Hangzhou and Beijing. She traveled in southern China with Martin Yan as he scouted locations for this new PBS show. When she returned, she joined forces with her friend and colleague, Ellie Basch, as co-owner of Everyday Gourmet. Their shared commitment to fresh, flavorful food makes them a sought after team for all manner of events.