Leigh Ann’s love of food began at the family dinner table where she shared great meals with family and friends. One of her favorite memories was when her father had ash-rolled goat cheeses, wines, sugar pears, and crates of artichokes sent to the house. She fondly remembers waiting with anticipation and excitement for these special arrivals.
During the summers while in high school, Leigh Ann earned money working at a small fruit stand which featured local produce. During college, Leigh Ann spent a year in Greece, where her love for Mediterranean food blossomed.
Leigh Ann began working with the Kroger family of stores in 1999. The Kroger Co. is one of the nation’s largest retail grocery chains, with nearly 2,500 stores in 31 states.
Leigh Ann developed a cooking tips and instructions program for them, which led to a television cooking segment that airs in several regional markets.
Leigh Ann’s work in the food arena has not been limited to her corporate role. She volunteers with many philanthropic groups and is committed to giving back to the community; serving as a role model for youth.
When not doing this work, Leigh Ann unwinds by… cooking and entertaining! “In my life, cooking serves as my therapy, a way to challenge myself, a comfort and an enjoyable source of bonding with my husband, family and friends,” says Leigh Ann.
The host of the “Fresh Ideas with Leigh Ann” television segment, which airs during the, Today Show, Ellen, Dr. Oz and Good Morning America, provides tips to her audience on how to cook with flavorful, fresh ingredients. The popular segment was born as a result of an in-store cooking program, “Cook and Tell,” which she also developed. Additionally, Leigh Ann records ongoing radio for the chain, sharing simple recipes and cooking tips that solve the age-old dilemma: “What to make for dinner?”
Educating others about the joy of food and wine is more than a job. Leigh Ann lives and embodies it. Just as her family taught her as a young girl, she enjoys being home, preparing, and sharing food with family and friends.