Holly is the Executive Chef for the Georgia Departments of Agriculture and Economic development. In this role, she represents the state’s largest economic sector, while serving as a liaison between Georgia’s farmers/ commodity producers and the food Service Industry. She is one of the most visible faces of the popular Georgia Grown Program and appears regularly at Festivals and community events.
Prior to this, Holly was Executive Chef of the Georgia Governor's Mansion under six administrations: Governor George Busbee, Governor Joe Frank Harris, Governor Zell Miller, Governor Roy Barnes, Governor Sonny Perdue, and Governor Nathan Deal. This led one political observer to remark "Georgia Republicans and Democrats can agree on at least one thing: Holly's cooking."
Over the past 33 years, Holly has welcomed foreign heads of state, former US presidents, Supreme Court justices... even members of England's Royal family with her authentic, Southern style that showcases Georgia's fresh, agricultural products. She has cooked alongside many celebrity chefs, including Cat Cora, Todd English and Paula Dean.
While people mistake Holly as a native Southerner, her skills with an iron skillet were learned on the job. She was raised on Long Island, New York and received a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. Her passion for fresh ingredients and natural flavors was well suited to the classic dishes she celebrates with old and new approaches. She championed farm to table practices long before they were trendy, working with the produce from the Mansion's garden and family farms around the state.
Holly is a tireless advocate of Georgia agriculture and food education initiatives for children and under-served communities. She has been honored as a Disciples d' Escoffier and a Board Member of the Georgia Dietitian’s Board. She is program committee chair for Les Dames d’Escoffier. Of her many honors and accolades, she considers Jeff Foxworthy's request for a doggy bag (to take home extra fried chicken) to be a most memorable achievement.
The Savannah Food & Wine Festival is presented by the Tourism Leadership Council, a 501-(c) 6 organization, and The AdFish Group, with proceeds benefiting the TLC Scholarship Fund, with educational opportunities for hospitality program students in colleges and universities in the Coastal Empire and many local charitable organizations.
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