MoxieMoments brings you Ouita Michel, Owner of Ouita Michel Restaurants Group, telling us about the note she'd write to her past self.
Since 2001, when Ouita & her husband, Chris, opened the Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Kentucky, she has made locally grown ingredients a priority in her world-class cuisine within her family of restaurants. Many bourbon aficionados will find her restaurants along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – such as Holly Hill Inn or Wallace Station Deli & the Midway Bakery in Midway, Kentucky. The Windy Corner Market & Restaurant, Smithtown Seafood, or Smithtown at the Summit & Honeywood are all in Midway. Since its inception, Ouita’s has collectively purchased over $2 million of Kentucky – grown meats, dairy & produce! She has been a James Beard Foundation Award nominee for Outstanding Restaurateur & Best Chef in the Southeast. Ouita and Chris are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She is a member of Slow Food USA; deacon & free community supper coordinator for Midway Christian Church; Board member of FoodChain, a non-profit food incubator in Lexington, Kentucky, & Woodford Forward, a land-use group; Hindman Settlement School, which is dedicated to enriching Central Appalachian culture; a member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Other honors include the Fayette Alliance Agricultural Excellence Award & Bluegrass Tomorrow’s most prestigious honor, the Josephine Abercrombie Award. This award is given to a person who contributes tirelessly to improve the quality of life in Bluegrass. She is also the Chef-in-residence, Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, Kentucky. Ouita and her restaurants are regularly featured in local and national media, such as CBS This Morning, USA Today, Southern Living & Garden & Gun. Ouita, Chris & their lovely daughter, Willa, live in Midway in a 200-year-old cabin with an expansive garden adjacent to where else? The Holly Hill InnIT