Chef Candace Lawson, Elon University
If you ask Candace Lawson’s colleagues to describe her, you will likely hear some variation of one common theme: “her passion is unmatched.” Every day you can see Candace, Harvest Table Culinary Group’s Chef De Cuisine at Elon Dining, working side-by-side teaching, mentoring and encouraging her team, as well as placing a huge emphasis on the importance of providing outstanding guest service. Her larger-than-life personality spills out of the kitchen and into the dining hall as she interacts with her Elon community. The students at Elon can’t help but take notice of Candace’s contagious passion. “I come to Lakeside a lot and Candace always has a smile on her face,” says an Elon student. “She goes out of her way to say “hey” to us every time we walk in and she’s really dedicated to making sure our food is how we like it.” When asked what drives her, Candace’s simple reply is “The students of Elon University. I want to give them the best meal each and every day at Lakeside Dining Hall.”
“God gave me these gifts to share with the world,” Candace states enthusiastically as she strides through her kitchen, fresh off preparing her famous macaroni and cheese. Candace has always had a passion for food, inherited at a young age when she and her grandmother would often spend time cooking together. Looking back, she now realizes these special moments were the beginning of her love of cooking. Candace’s passion led her to consider attending a culinary school after high school, but her parents wanted her to pursue what they thought of as a more traditional college experience. This led Candace to Elon University. As a student, Candace studied Theatre with a concentration in directing, but she was still drawn to food even while in school and began her career as a student worker for Elon Dining. After graduating Elon in 2003 and working in another field for a couple of years, Candace realized that she would never feel fulfilled without that feeling she first experienced cooking with her grandmother. She decided to go back to school and attended culinary school at Alamance Community College. While attending culinary school in 2007, Candace came home to Elon where she was hired as an hourly cook. By 2009, she achieved her goal and received a Culinary Arts Degree. After graduating, Candace continued to develop her culinary expertise, and in 2012 she was promoted to Chef De Cuisine.
Harvest Table Culinary Group employs a team of culinarians just like Chef Candace who share a passion for quality food, service excellence, and promoting healthier food choices. All team members have a distinct role, yet share a common philosophy – deliver inspiring food experiences that help create meaningful and memorable connections. If you’re interested in connecting with us about employment opportunities, please get in touch.