Sous chef, Ella

Story by Beth Stallings // Photo by Alysia Burton

Alexis Randolph never thought she could make a career out of cooking--an odd statement for the sous chef at Ella, who has only ever worked in a kitchen.

In her first job, at 15, she made breakfast at Thurn's Bakery and Deli in German Village. In college, she enrolled in the Culinary Apprenticeship program at Columbus State.

But all the while, she thought about maybe becoming an athletic trainer or mixed-media artist.

"It took me a while to realize this was my calling," she said.

But she did, in the kitchen at G. Michael's. Here, one of the only notable female chefs in the city (a thought she'd never really considered) was pushed for the first time.

At first, Randolph
could barely make a butter sauce. Soon, she was breaking down whole pigs and half cows, learning the ins and outs of lowcountry cuisine from Chef David Tetzloff.

"Her work ethic was the first thing I noticed, and her willingness to do whatever was required to get the job done," Tetzloff said. "She's a hard worker and really detailed."

Now, she's applying her love for layering flavors using local ingredients into the artfully inspired dishes at New Albany's Ella. Here, she's hoping to learn new flavor profiles, a little molecular gastronomy from Chef Travis Hyde, and more about the business side of a restaurant.

Why? Because she hopes she'll be running her own someday, preferably a gourmet soup-and-sandwich joint with her chef husband.

Age: 28
Neighborhood: New Albany
Previous gig: Sous chef at G. Michael's

266 E. Main St., New Albany