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Julia Soya

Although Chef Julia was born in Columbus, Ohio her parents took her to Chicago as soon as they graduated from Ohio State. There she learned a love for food from her Mother’s Italian side of the family and her Father’s Polish side. After graduating from college at the University of Illinois at Chicago she spent two years in Mexico studying, traveling and learning about Mexican cuisine. Upon returning home she went to Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis, Minnesota to get her degree in the culinary arts. As soon as she graduated she moved to New Orleans, Louisiana and began working for Chef John Besh at Restaurant August. Starting at the Garde Manger (cold salads) station she worked her way up over the years to become lead line cook and eventually Head Banquet Chef. Working with Chef John Besh was an amazing learning experience where Chef Julia had the opportunity to create amazing food for some amazing diners including some of the top chefs in the world and quite a few Hollywood stars. After leaving Restaurant August, Chef Julia went to work with another renowned Louisiana Chef, Donald Link, at his restaurant, Butcher. There she learned about curing meats, making sausages and salamis along with a couple of Louisiana classics like Boudin. In addition to making sausages she also took a position as Head Pastry Chef at a small restaurant called Martinique Bistro where she refined her knowledge of the Pastry Arts and fine dining desserts. Then an opportunity came up for Chef Julia to try and open a concept restaurant with one of the larger grocery chains in the south, Rouses. She helped open a small bistro called The Cellar which was a wine bar and teaching kitchen. This is where Chef Julia caught the teaching bug and soon had a large following of New Orleanians that came each week to her cooking classes. Upon finding the Cajun man of her dreams Chef Julia had a baby girl and moved her family to Cleveland where she pursued a career in teaching the Culinary and Pastry Arts. Luckily she gave Loretta a call and the rest is history.

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