A graduate of the nationally accredited Art Institute of Atlanta in the field of Culinary Arts, Joy specialIzes in researching and preparing locally grown, and organic foods. A long-time proponent of farm-to-table cooking, Joy’s philosophy centers around using natural ingredients wherever possible, with a keen eye toward foods grown, farmed, butchered and purveyed in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Her food is nestled in the Southern, home-cooked style, but highlights healthy ingredients and a refined presentation while celebrating the seasons’ best offerings.
Her culinary career began in Los Angeles working as the caterer and event planner for the President of Capitol Records. There, she hosted countless functions for musicians and executives, sharpening her skills in presentation and large-scale planning. At the same time, she worked on private events for Warner Bros. Television. She was a go-to private chef for actors and executives on Warner’s television series and feature films. In 2005, Joy relocated to Atlanta Georgia, where she attended the Art Institute of Atlanta. While working on her degree, she studied under Chef Bradley Rouse, head chef for the NBA team The Atlanta Hawks. There, Joy worked closely with Chef Rouse planning menus and preparing meals for the private dining facility for both the NBA players and their families. There was a particular focus on the specialized athlete’s diet.
Upon graduation from the Art Institute, Joy began cooking at Woodfire Grill as an apprentice to Chef Micahel Tuohy. Chef Tuohy has been credited with shifting the local / organics / farm-to-table practices from Northern California to the Atlanta restaurant scene. At Woodfire Grill Joy cultivated her skills in several methods of cooking, including meat curing, butchery, fruit preservation, sauce-making and wine-pairing. She worked closely with local Atlanta farmers and purveyors, and learned the art of fine seasonal cooking in an upscale atmosphere. In 2008, Tuohy turned the ownership of Woodfire Grill over to Chef Kevin Gillespie (“Top Chef” Contestant, Season 6). Chef Gillespie remains there currently, and Joy proudly worked on his team for nearly two years.
Additionally, Joy has had the honor of cooking directly with some of the South’s finest chefs, including Virginia Willis, author of the nationally-acclaimed cookbook, “Bon Appetit, Y’all; Chef Ford Fry, Chef/owner, JCT Kitchen & Bar; Chef Hilary White, Chef/owner, The Hil at Serenbe Farms; Chef Scott Peacock, former Executive Chef at the award-winning restaurant Watershed in Decatur, and Chef Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun’s, Krog Bar and Kevin Rathbun Steak.
In 2008, Joy founded FOODĒ as a home-based private event and catering company in Atlanta. In 2010, FOODĒ grew to a physical location on Caroline Street in Historic Downtown Fredericksburg. There, Joy and her team pride themselves in putting their key philosophy into practice for their guests and clients. Namely, they provide a large variety of seasonal, market-fresh, natural and organic meals prepared in a comfortably refined style. FOODĒ Fredericksburg opened in January, 2011. Joy appeared on Season 12 of Top Chef last fall and her signature Chicken & Waffles won the Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Madness Challenge in April. In spring 2015, she opened her second restaurant, Mercantile, in Fredericksburg.