Interview by Gainesville High Work Based Learning students and Abernathy Cochran interns Grady Vardeman and Donangelo Marshall

Meet Chelle Lee! Chelle works at the Publix on Thompson Bridge Road and if you ever shopped there you’ve probably seen her and tasted her Publix Apron Meal samples. She’s always there to greet you with a warm smile, spark a conversation and most importantly give you the best samples you’ve ever tasted.

We want to thank Chelle for spending time with us recently and telling us more about herself and her love of Hall County.

Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I’ve been cooking my whole life and what I enjoy most about cooking is cooking for others. So, here I get to do all of my favorite things.”

Q: What is your favorite recipe?
A: “I make a really good Paella, it has chicken, seafood, sausage, and yellow rice, it’s a big dish with all my favorite things and my family loves it.”

Q: What’s your favorite thing to cook in your Publix kitchen?
A: “Anything seafood, I can always get the freshest ingredients and have one of the biggest kitchens you’ve ever seen. Makes cooking easy when you have every ingredient you could ever need.”

Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “13 years.”

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “I really like Avocados on the Square, because of how fresh it is.”

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “I’ve always wanted to go to Italy, it has the people, the food, and the landscape. It’s got everything and it’s so diverse.”

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “’Ghost,’ I’m not that big of a movie person, but that’s definitely my favorite.”

Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Enjoy life every day.”

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “Traveling Europe and just eating all different types of food. My favorite food is seafood so I love to try more of that when I go.”

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “That Hall County is such a well-knit community, they do so many things together. Like Christmas on Green Street and Friday night concerts, it’s something Gainesville has that not a lot of other places do.”

Q: Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
A: “Retired and traveling.”

Q: What three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Family, food, and laughter.”

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “That I’m an artist, just like cooking, I like to create stuff.”