Sue Grafton

Photographs: Sue's Chef, Liz

This is Liz, our personal chef. Liz graduated from the Culinary Institute of San Francisco in 1997, ranking in the top 3% of her class. For ten years prior to that, she worked as an accountant, but cooking was her first love and she'd always dreamed of going to culinary school. After receiving her degree, she was hired by a Santa Barbara catering company, where she ran the kitchen for years. Then they discovered she had terrific managerial skills and she ended up back in an office, which was never her intent. She decided to find work as a personal chef.

Our former cook, Carol, had been with us for six years and then received one of those job offers she simply couldn't refuse. Though we were sorry to see her go, we sent her off with our blessings.

At the time, we were on our way to Kentucky so we really didn't need anyone until we returned in mid-December. We filled out all the necessary paperwork with a local employment agency and went on our merry way. When we got back to Santa Barbara, we learned we were the only couple in the market for a chef and the agency had only one applicant for our consideration. Liz came by the house for an interview and we hired her on the spot.

She grew up on a farm in Ohio so she's been traveling with us to Kentucky twice year, which allows her to spend time with her grandmother and various aunts, uncles, and cousins, all within driving distance. She's made friends in Louisville and she seems to enjoy the dual-home existence as much as we do. It's been a perfect match for all concerned and we're delighted to have her with us.

This is Liz pausing in her work to say "hi." As a chef, she's incredibly imaginative. At dinner, we frequently roll our eyes and half-fall off our chairs, in swoons of delight. Plus, she's a nice person; easy-going, relaxed, and fun to be with. We're very lucky to have her.

Liz on the kitchen patio about to clip fresh herbs.

This is Liz and me, schmoozing in the kitchen as we tend to do.

This is Liz and Steve making faces at the camera because they were tired of having pictures taken. Liz is the one with the knife. Steve is the one looking worried.

This is the same duo once I told them to behave.