Host, Co-Owner of La Pitchoune
Makenna and Julia share a number of things in common: They are both incredibly tall, deeply passionate about French cooking, have a 'what the hell' attitude in the kitchen, and call Smith College their alma mater.
At age 4, Makenna began a border-line obsession with escargot and mussels cooked in butter, parsley, wine, and garlic. Influenced by the lilting voice of The French Chef, she deepened her passion for cooking. But France was Makenna's favorite because of manatees first, as she believed she must learn French to work with Jacques Cousteau. As luck would have it, her rapid-fire Kindergartner grammar French hasn't gone to waste despite no longer dreaming of manatee work - except in her sleep, sometimes.
As an exchange student, she fell in love with French cuisine all over again through the eyes of her host mother, who diligently taught her everything she could. Fast forward to college, she skipped the dining hall, bought a food share, and begun to learn to cook without recipes - before YouTube and a thousand databases for recipes were the norm.
A natural disrupter and never one to turn away from an entrepreneurial venture, she bought La Peetch sight unseen, and moved her entire life to Provence – never having even visited the South of France. Her previous experience in France? Paris, Paris, Paris, Paris, and...Paris. About a dozen times.
If she's not galavanting the terraced gardens of La Pitchoune, you'll find her traipsing about the world with Vera, her Green Apple 1978 VW Bus, or swooshing at inhuman speeds down the slopes of the Rockies. When she's not teaching unsuspecting cooks new levels of courageousness around the globe, she writes for and manages Okay Perfect, a food and travel blog focused on exquisite and impartial journalism. She’s also the CEO of ALo Records, a record label giving the middle finger to the traditional music industry, and is the founder and director of Your Leadership Recipe, a coaching consultancy that works with corporate teams & leaders, non-profit leadership, and entrepreneurs to fully embody the notion that leadership is neither hierarchical nor linear but should be radically intersectional and inclusive.
She's a graduate of NYU's Global Affairs program, studied Philosophy at Smith College, mastered whipping up mousse's, sauces, and the like at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and now studies the gendering of food at the European Graduate School’s Critical Studies program.
Her current food loves? A good chimichuri, foie gras, Provençal wine (pink water/rosé is her favorite), and a baked Mont D'Or cheese. (Ask her tomorrow, and she'll have a different answer). Also? Taco Bell - hey, nobody's perfect!