Linda’s Recipe of Life

My passion for cooking started in Independence, Louisiana, just north of New Orleans, when I was nine years old. I am the oldest daughter of Sue and Charley Micele. We were a military family that moved from Key West, FL to El Paso, TX to Groton CT, but New Orleans was home. Our big Italian family would gather in my Aunt Josies kitchen to make dozens of Christmas cookies, cook spaghetti & the meatballs, listen to the aunts gossip and pick strawberries on her 9-acre strawberry farm.


As a young adult, one of my first jobs was working with a family owned sandwich shop in the basement of a high-rise medical building in Atlanta, GA. The owner, Buddy, his sons, and his two elderly aunts made soup, deviled eggs and simple but tasty sandwiches. I delivered lunches all over Atlanta in my little blue Volkswagen. This experience inspired my love for the family owned, small business kitchen.


I moved on to the corporate world and joined Doubletree Hotel where I was part of the food and beverage team that opened new properties. We went from Atlanta Concours d’Elegance to Plaza Las Fuentes in Pasadena, CA. I was so fortunate to watch and learn from amazing chefs, serve hundreds of people at a time, whilst building reliable teams of professional servers, bartenders and housemen.


While these experiences added ingredients to my recipe of life, it was Chef Alison that gave me the knowledge and confidence to take on the challenge of owning my own kitchen. Alison owned, operated, and created the menus for Pacific Thyme Catering in Long Beach, CA. The kitchen was an old Kentucky Fried Chicken building from where we prepared for our adventures. In addition to the medical centers and pharmaceutical reps we made lunches for, we had many memorable special events including the opening of the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, 1991 with 5 living Presidents in attendance; Labor Day LA, a benefit dinner for 1200 guests in Santa Monica; served dinner to the crew of the first Russian Freighter delivering aluminum to the Port of Long Beach; we supplied coffee and homemade danish to the firefighters during fire season; and we fed the L.A. county Mayors breakfast during the 1992 Los Angeles riots surrounded by the National Guard. Through our many adventures, my passion for cooking and catering grew.


In 1994, my husband’s job brought our family to Greensboro, NC. My Career went into aviation and marketing. I was the one that cooked, organized and brought the gumbo to all of the company parties! After raising the kids, paying off braces, weddings, and college, my search for a kitchen began. Steven, the owner of Steven’s Corporate Catering had turned 50, wanted to retire, I turned 60 and wanted to own a catering company! When I walked into Stevens kitchen, located at the Old Hooker Factory in historic downtown Kernersville, NC, my heart skipped a beat. It was perfectly appointed, had a great flow and I knew this was the place. Steven and I talked like we had known each other all our lives. 


My slogan became: “Stevens Retired it’s “Thyme for Linda”. 

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My recipe for “de Gumbo” of Life:

  • Start with a roux: mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, and uncles
  • Add seafood, sausage, & chicken: chefs and great cooks, Chef Alison, Chef Malcom, Chef Rome, Buddy and Steven
  • Add some gumbo filet to hold it all together: my husband Paul
  • Throw in assorted herbs to spice it up: my 3 children, 7 grandchildren, sisters Pam, Pebbles & brother Michael


The Final and most special ingredient...

 Love & Determination: My brother Sparky, a Special Olympian, taught me that my glass is always half full, to never give up, and give it all you’ve got! 

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