Whitney Otawka

Whitney Otawka grew up in Southern California and attended UC Berkeley. At 19, she began working at a French creperie in Oakland, where she met Eric Leroy, who made everything from scratch and loved discussing French cuisine. Otawka discovered her innate discipline and rigor for cooking – a passion that helped her thrive in demanding restaurant environments. She continued her culinary education in kitchens throughout California. In 2005, Otawka moved to Athens to become Sous Chef at Hugh Acheson’s 5&10. She also worked as Chef de Partie of Linton Hopkins’ Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta while attending Le Cordon Blue culinary school. Additionally, Otawka staged in several New York restaurants including Per Se, Le Bernardin, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Otawka served as Executive Chef at Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island in 2010, and at Farm 225 in Athens in 2012. After filming Top Chef Season 9, Otawka returned to Greyfield Inn as Culinary Director in 2015. Otawka oversees Greyfield’s culinary program, creating seasonally-driven menus which include produce grown at the Inn’s garden. She loves bringing rustic-style dishes rooted in Southern tradition to the modern table. Otawka’s recipes appear in The New York Times, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, and The Local Palate.

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