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Staff Profile: Kelly

Kelly came to Dandelion during one of those amazingly crazy catering weekends that you talk about years later. It was a holiday weekend and we were catering a wedding at Haystack, a gorgeous art school on the rocky coast of downeast Maine. It was a back to back pig roast for Christian, and he left our event at Broadturn Farm to drive three hours and set up and roast a second pig in the pouring rain. I was short staffed that weekend so I asked our front of staff if they had friends that could come up and join our server team. Sarah Donohoe offered up her sister, Kelly, along with her best friend Kate.

Throughout the next couple of years, Kelly helped out sporadically, filling in as a front of house server. When I went on maternity leave in December 2014, Kelly jumped in in the kitchen to help with our first real busy holiday season. We had a wedding and lots of holiday parties lined up and I was able to leave, knowing I had such capable hands in the kitchen. We were beyond stoked when she came on full time in the spring of 2015.

Kelly’s first experience in a professional kitchen was at a resort in Vermont. She walked in and was offered a position as a line cook. Although it wasn’t exactly her dream job, it was a gateway into the food industry. When I ask Kelly about what attracts her to food, she speaks with a dreamy tone about the sense of community she feels surrounds food and how she is just overall obsessed with it.

Kelly is also an amazing artist and her ceramic work is so beautiful. She is in transition right now with her studio but you can find her completed works at Portland Pottery while she works towards her future plan of having a home studio. Ceramics, like cooking is all about enjoying the process. Kelly has an appreciation for slowing down and taking the time to enjoy what she is doing. She feels that cooking is a process that starts before ingredients enter the kitchen and that taking the time to enjoy the process is so worth the effort. We couldn’t agree more!

A few weeks ago, Amy and I kidnapped Kelly to come sit by the river to answer a few of our blog questions. It was a beautiful day out so I don’t think she minded getting out of the hot kitchen too much.

What’s your favorite thing about catering?

The prep and organization. I like how we are prepped out before the event. I really like the challenge of organizing all that and I like seeing parts of Maine I wouldn’t normally see.

Your dog Ethan, is the cutest. Do you have a favorite story?

My sister, Colleen, adopted Ethan’s brother at the same time. They both had a little training. Two years after I adopted him, my sister prompted me to ask Ethan to “speak” and he began to howl -- I was very surprised!

You recently added a new family member. Tell us about being a cat owner.

Walter the cat is a kitten we adopted from Broadturn Farm. He has a lot of personality. Mostly cute. And evil. He and Ethan wrestle!

How did you end up in Maine?

Best friend from college, Meg, grew up in Bangor. I came in 2007 and then my sister, Sarah came after.

Ever leaving Maine?


Christian and I always talk about wanting to meet your parents...If you could give advice from your parents, what would be the key advice they would give to raising such amazing daughters?

We never got punished. I think they sneaked life lessons in without us knowing.

Do you have a favorite kitchen song to sing along to in the kitchen?

Oh Jeez! When no one is around, Neil Young. We listen to a lot of Zack Brown and the new Beyonce when Christian isn’t around!

Favorite Dandelion food

Scotch eggs with beet and the breakfast sandwich with quail eggs

Next trending thing?

Gold dusted ants!


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