Written by Jessa Moore
Ask any chef you have ever met about travel, and they will tell you that food is the window to culture, and the key to understanding people. Every chef I have met has many a stamped passport, or at least a dream itinerary. Food is tradition, it nourishes people, it grounds them. Kat Turner lives out of a suitcase, and relishes every minute of it. Her one constant in life is her love of cuisine. She is the bad girl of the private chef world, combining flavor with sex appeal. To her, food is energy, and allows her clients, like Rock Stars and hyper busy startup entrepreneurs, to function fully while not having time to cook. Her philosophy combines a whole foods diet with a global flavor, using ingredients at hand- be it an Indonesian market or a French fromagerie. A former actress, she firmly believes nourishment feeds the heart and soul, as well as the body. The kitchen is her creative place, and she has mastered the art of taking it with her. Her love of seasonal food led her to the National Gourmet Institute, then eventually NY’s famed Blue Hill, where she learned how delicious vegetables could really be.
Kat’s life revolves around making sure clients are well fed, and healthy-but that doesn't mean it’s not fun. Look up Kat’s Instagram and you will find yourself traveling the globe with her, and almost tasting the dishes-like a Tagine from Morocco, or a Tamale from Mexico City. Her motto is “What Would Anthony Bourdain Eat?”, and she lives up to it. There are pictures of her in a Parka in Reykjavik, and standing under the Brooklyn Bridge. She tells of stories in Taipei, where she was the lone woman in the kitchen, where chefs stared at her while she worked. She has cooked at a private event for the Dalai Lama, where he blessed everyone. She recently came back from a Summit at Sea, where she cooked for 4,000 people on a cruise ship, catering to tech billionaires. Her favorite night was doing a PopUp kitchen in an elevator, where she served a late night bite. There’s a place for discipline, and there is definitely a place for treats, like an organic cheeseburger with truffle fries. Kat considers herself “holistic” in the meaning of “life is all one”. She considers her biggest life lesson adaptability. It isn't easy being in a different country every day, with a different language, and different grocery stores. Her clients like to have a little familiarity, so Kat packs familiar snacks like rice milk and granola in her luggage, along with her high heels. Her hope is that everyone she cooks for has a taste of home.