Rising Star Chef Keri Moser of IvyWild - Biography

Sewanee, TN

February 2014

Keri Moser got through a variety of twists and turns by what she refers to as “sheer force of will.” It’s not a cute phrase, either. Moser, who was first turned on to cooking by watching Justin Wilson and Julia Child with her grandfather, didn’t have the most direct path to a successful career.

Her first job in the culinary field was more tangential to hands-on cooking, with Moser working as a cookbook editor (Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook, The Miss America Cookbook, Cooking in the Nude). Jumping from page to practice, Moser took an apprenticeship cooking at Keswick Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia. But when her husband was hired to the University of the South in Sewanee, Moser left her apprenticeship and moved with him to Tennessee. Moser returned to the kitchen via the university’s dining services, and later moved on to become sous chef at Pearl’s Foggy Mountain Café.

After opening and closing her first solo venture, The Goat Track Gourmet, in a less than a year, Moser took a seasonal position at one of the state’s unlikely yacht clubs before leaving cooking for three years. But working still with that “sheer force of will,” Moser had the resilience to come back, opening IvyWild in 2010. More than three years later, Moser is serving progressive American cuisine with enduring success, and in 2014, she was named a StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef.