Chef Kelly Fields grew up in Charleston, but has officially called New Orleans home since 2010. She had worked here years prior with Chef Susan Spicer, then again as the pastry chef at Restaurant August, but left in 2005 due to the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. She took the opportunity to travel across the globe and work with diverse chefs in Europe, the Middle East, and the Asian Pacific. 

Fast forward to 2015 when Fields opened Willa Jean, a contemporary restaurant and bakery celebrating Southern cuisine. After several years as a James Beard Award semifinalist, she won Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2019. When Fields isn't at the restaurant, you can find her traveling, reading, and hanging with her dog Kinney.


Photo courtesy of Willa Jean

To see how Fields starts her days, read on for her dog-filled morning routine!

5:30 a.m. Wake up and immediately call my dog Kinney up to my bed and enjoy some morning snuggles.

6:00 a.m. Let Kinney run outside while I make my morning coffee, which consists of Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso and a little Oatly oat milk over ice.

KF 3

6:15 a.m. Grab Kinney and go for our morning run along the levee, usually about two miles. When I get back, I usually eat a piece of fruit or make a smoothie, whatever my body is feeling. Then, I dedicate about 30 minutes to journaling and meditating before getting ready for work.

7:30 a.m. Time to shower, check emails and social media, and head to the restaurant.

8:30 a.m. Drop Kinney off at "school" at Canine Connection.

KF 2

9:00 a.m. Arrive at Willa Jean and get my second coffee (Iced Milk Money Latte). I check in with my team and see what needs to be done, always checking for any 911s first. I check in any orders that come in from our vendors, making sure we're not missing anything, and/or need to up orders for the next day.

9:30 a.m. Make myself some breakfast. Usually a breakfast salad of sorts: avocado, eggs, beans, and greens or whatnot.

10:00 a.m. Sit down in our "office" and finally answer those emails I didn't get to answer earlier in the day and get my playlist going for the mood of the day. Some days include St. Vincent, Sleater Kinney, Lizzo, other days some Wu-Tang or A Tribe Called know, whatever the day calls for.

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11:00 a.m. Webcam stalk my dog via the cameras at his day care.

11:30 a.m. Tackle any meetings and/or fires that need to be put out. Most recently, I’ve been looking through my cookbook for any edits—which btw, comes out this Fall!