For today’s FriendsEAT Chef Spotlight, we will be sharing with you our interview with Chef Alexa Lemley, the executive chef and owner of 240sweet and Artisan Foodworks. Here’s a little info on Chef Alexa, her businesses, and her philosophy on life.
FE: Describe the food that you serve at your catering business.
Alexa: New American with French and Asian influences.
FE: What makes your business stand out?
Alexa: Scratch-made items from an award-winning chef. 240sweet LLC is a family of food brands that include off-premise catering, confections, and concessions. Management of daily operations and recipe development. Divisions include 240sweet, Artisan Foodworks, and S’more Mobile.
FE: Where did you train (culinary school/stages)?
Alexa: I am the child of 2 chefs and grew up in the industry
FE: Did you grow up cooking or did cooking come to you later in life?
Alexa: I started cooking professionally at 14
FE: Who in your life influenced your cooking the most?
Alexa: My parents, Max and Christine Lemley.
FE: What made you decide to become a chef?
Alexa: It was never a decision. It’s what I am.
FE: What misconceptions do people have when they first enter the culinary field?
Alexa: They don’t understand how long the days will be.
FE: What is the best cooking tip you can share for a novice?
Alexa: Read the recipe completely and assemble all ingredients before starting. Treat it like a checklist.
FE: What are your three favorite cooking tools?
Alexa: A sharp off-set spatula, metal kitchen tongs, immersion blender
FE: What is the craziest thing that has happened in your kitchen?
Alexa: One time, a kitchen helper dressed up one of the whole dead pigs like a person and took pictures.
FE: What is your favorite ingredient to cook with and why?
Alexa: Sugar. It makes everything sweeter.
FE: When you’re home, what is your guilty food pleasure?
Alexa: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (Which is super guilty since I won Grand Champion in the American Dairy Association Indiana’s Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese Cook-Off in 2015)
FE: What is your Favorite cookbook? (not your own).
Alexa: Joy of Cooking
Here’s a summary of Chef Alexa’s most notables accolades:
- Finalist in the Chef’s Taste Challenge Farm to Table Cook-Off to be held in New Orleans in August 2016.
- Winner “Best Sweet Dish” at the New York City Bacon and Beer Classic 2016.
- Overall Champion Denver Bacon and Beer Classic (now on to compete in World Food Championships Bacon division in November 2016).
- Artisan Foodworks named #3 of Top 5 Dinner Party Caterers by Indianapolis Monthly in December 2015.
- Winner “Peoples’ Choice Award” at the Indianapolis Bacon and Beer Classic 2015.
- Grand Champion in the American Dairy Association Indiana Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese Cook-Off 2015.
- Winner of “Most Creative” and “Best Gluten Free” for Popcorn and Lobster Soup at Indiana SoupFest 2015.
- Recognized by “Go Magazine” in 2011 and 2014 for being “hot” and outstanding woman entrepreneur.
- “Local Food Hero” Best Chef 2013 and Best Food Artisan 2012 and 2013 by Edible Indy Magazine.
- Received the Hoosier Hospitality Award 2013 by Indiana’s Lt Governor.
- Awarded the designation of “20 under 40” by Columbus Young Professionals in 2011.
- Inducted into Indiana Artisan in 2008 in recognition of the superior craftsmanship of our 240sweet marshmallows.
240sweet and Artisan Foodworks are both located at 9600 N US Highway 31, Columbus, Indiana 47201
Phone Number: (812) 3729898