meet the chef
Jessica Lewis graduated from the University of Virginia as a NCAA All American Student Athlete with a BA in Economics. Jessica worked for asset management group, Vanguard, straight out of school and shortly realized she needed something a little more fast-paced. As a nationally ranked swimmer, Jessica was accustomed to dedicated training and competition but also always enjoyed eating and drinking as much as she enjoyed being an athlete. She put two-and-two together and decided to dive into the culinary world. After attending the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC, Chef Lewis worked in various kitchens in town and eventually landed the opportunity to be a contestant on Hell’s Kitchen: Season 11 with celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay. After her time with Chef Ramsay, Chef Lewis went back to combined her two loves- sports and food- by working at the Mets’ Citifield Stadium in New York, then, later, moving to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, working for the Steelers as well as the VIP catering program.
After her time at Heinz Field, Chef Lewis joined Kimpton Hotels and was a key member of the opening team at The Commoner, Hotel Monaco. She was then invited to audition for the inaugural “class” at Pittsburgh’s Smallman Galley, a chef incubator where four chefs live under one roof and serve their own food and concept out of their own kitchen. Chef Lewis’s concept, Carota Cafe, was wildly successful and one of the only vegetable-forward concepts in Pittsburgh at the time. After her stint at Smallman Galley, she helped open and operate or, The Whale, and cocktail bar Evangeline at the Distrikt Hotel and Merchant Oyster Co. located in Lawrenceville. In addition to cooking tasty veg-forward food, Chef Lewis is widely known for her attention to detail, impeccable taste, people skills, and passion for sustainability.
Catch her in the kitchen as Executive Chef of Spirits & Tales at The Oaklander Hotel.