Inn Step with Chef Ouita Michel

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Real Life and Chefs

Chef Ouita Michel and Joyce Friend Pinson share a laugh

We caught up to Chef Ouita at a recent holiday entertaining demonstation at Woodford Reserve Bourbon Distillery.

Click to read Chef Ouita newspaper article by Joyce Pinson

The Pointy Toed Shoe Sisters Find a Soul Sister
Chef Ouita Gets It!

When You are Hot…You are Hot! Giggles

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the kitchen is too hot or if hot flashes cranked up the internal thermostat. There comes a time when bifocals are just part of life; when you quit caring so much what OTHER people think and speak with confidence and wisdom of your own convictions. It’s part of the Pointy Toed Shoe Sisters credo.

Chef Ouita Michel; yes I think she will do. I shall propose her for membership into our secret society.

Chef Ouita Michel at Woodford Reserve Culinary Demonstation
The chef sips bourbon; preferably Woodford Reserve. She is passionate about Kentucky and preserving our food heritage, our arts, and our culture. She is a successful business woman, with interests in Holly Hill Inn, Wallace Station and Windy Corners Market.

Sometimes she burns the syrup for her cooking demonstrations. She is constantly in motion.

Sometimes she giggles…well actually she giggles a lot. I don’t know anyone who giggles more, except maybe me. Giggles

In general a chefs’ life is a tough gig. Many chefs find “Encore Careers” in their mid-forties, forgoing the long hours of standing over a hot stove, the headaches of kitchen staffing, and the pressures of managing a restaurant. Not Ouita.


Chef Ouita radiates a joy of life and a passion for her craft. She shares:

“I find it unusual that women our age are still professionally cooking. Perhaps I am the expection. I have adjusted my expectations. I have high expectations for myself but I am not going to be a Food Network Star. I do not want to be Paula Deen…but I AM going to hang in there. Maybe I’ll get a Life Time Achievement award” she laughs.

“When I am 75, if I last that long, Holly Hill Inn will be enshrined. I’ll be sitting on the front porch in a house dress drinking Gin and Tonics and breaking beans. People will come to me for cooking advice, and I’ll just smile and say Honey what do want to know?

Here’s to you Ouita! Cannot wait to visit your garden in the spring. Better find some pointy toed shoes! Giggles

Chef Ouita Michel Woodford Reserve Holidays December 2011

More Chefs and Bourbon
More Chef Ouita Michal
More Chefs;
More Woodford Reserve

About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.