Personal Chef Marcy Ragan


… and I’ve found this to be true my whole life. Specific flavors always bring a certain visceral aspect to my memories, starting with my sister’s declaration that my lasagna took the family blue ribbon for being “the best and the cheesiest.” Who doesn’t taste some ingredient, think of a favorite dish, and not feel transported to a specific person or memory that you never want to lose? It’s idiosyncratic and pretty irresistible.

Experimenting in the kitchen continued with forays into a “Mussels and Baguettes” party in my teens and later in numerous other culinary adventures that will end up in my memoirs. I traveled, on my own, to Perugia, Italy after college and worked in restaurants, expanding my knowledge and global point of view. Armed with that knowledge and developing skill set, I attended the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute) where I received my classical training.

What matters most to me is my family and living a life of growth and joy.


What matters most to me is my family and living a life of growth and joy. This includes making a significant contribution in my arena – food. I believe that we all should eat well. Even while our ability to connect is expanding thanks to technology, we still need to find the half hour to eat well and have actual conversations with the people we’ve said we want to spend our lives with. It’s not just lobster rolls at the shore or lamb roast when we’re hosting family or important guests. Food matters, because so many of our memories orbit around it, and time is something we all need but cannot seem to make more of.

We can live rich lives, but a lot of that comes down to perspective. I work very hard for my clients, because I care and want to make a difference in the ways that I can. That’s what gets me out of bed each morning… that and thinking about what to eat.

While I’m well-trained and travelled, well-read and love the cultural experiences I can add to my food, I’ve never stopped learning. I consume favorite cookbooks, points of view and insights from chefs, nutritionists, farmers, food writers and others I admire. And I devour music. Ask anyone who knows me. I find that food and music make sense to me in a similar way. There is something about the combo of personal memories, understanding history and genre, context, and ways to experiment that works in both. One bite, like one chord change, and I’m jettisoned in time. Music and food follow a template: there are rules, but with room to explore and endless variations of derivation and creativity. I think in food and song lyrics. Follow me on Instagram and you’ll see.

Ultimately, nothing makes me happier, whether it’s with my sons, my family and friends, than a buoyant table surrounded by satisfied stomachs and big laughs. That, at the end of the day, is what I want for my clients: exceptionally great food, created with expertise, education, culinary brain-power and skill and from the heart of a woman who wants everyone to be well fed and completely loved.

Marcy Ragan As JBJ Soul Kitchen Guest Chef
Relish Your Chef Dixie-Chicken