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My Grandmothers Love is Why I Became a Chef

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JM IMages Photography

I am the Executive Chef and Owner of Roux and Vine Catering and my newest offering Magnolia Street Wine Lounge & Kitchen, named after the street I grew up on. A native of Oakland, California, I found my calling to the culinary world in my youth.  Raised by my two grandmothers, I learned at an early age that food and hospitality were the way to people's hearts.  With one grandmother a Chinese immigrant and the other a Southern housekeeper, I embraced both worlds by ultimately fusing the two. Taking recipes from both grandmothers, I found myself mixing my favorites into delightful dishes for my family and friends.  In 2011, I decided to embark on a culinary adventure by offering my dishes for sale from my home.

Catering To My Community

In 2013 I was asked to cater for one of San Francisco’s former Police Commissioners and I nervously and carefully placed a brunch out in honor of his birthday.  After that brunch, I quickly found myself in full-blown catering mode and created Elle B Events.  Elle B Events client list boasted names such as Deloitte & Touché, Reed Smith, Kaiser Permanente, and a handful of celebrity clients as well.

In mid-2015, I returned to one of my favorite culinary scenes, New Orleans.  A place I visited often and where I decided to return to my roots of Southern/Cajun Cuisine with an Asian twist.  In 2017, Roux and Vine was born.  I had several residencies at Bay Area wineries such as Rosenblum Cellars and Dashe Cellars, a few popular lounges, and had much success with my popular pop-up events throughout the Bay.  Roux and Vine became one of the most sought after catering companies in the Bay Area with a client list that now includes Impossible Foods, Clover, Palo Alto Medical, Alta Bates Hospital, Cal Berkeley, and the PanHellenic Council of the Bay Area. 

In 2017-2019, Roux and Vine and I, were hand-picked by ESPN to be the Official Caterer for ESPN, NBA Entertainment, NBA TV, and the Turner Network for the NBA Western Conference Finals and the NBA Finals for the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.  It has been one heck of a ride for me and for my blossoming catering company.  With many plans on the horizon, I continue to shoot for the stars one bowl of grits at a time!

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Family Is Everything

Chef Mason and his mom, Chef Leilani, make a dynamic duo in the kitchen and IRL. So be on the lookout for their new Podcast Dish Delish with Chef Mason.

COMING SOON

"I’m doing this for the culture.

I’m doing this for my city."

I grew up literally a few blocks away from the California Hotel on Magnolia Street, which is what inspired the name for me. Around the corner still stands the church where I sang my first solo in a gospel choir.

 

“I decided to do the Magnolia Street project because I am passionate about bringing back the history, the art, and the culture of my people FOR my people. 

 

I grew up here.  I’ve watched the neighborhood go through several cycles of life.  It’s time to resuscitate West Oakland with what the people have been starving for; a place where they can commune, eat, and drink all while rebuilding the foundation of West Oakland.

Chef Leilani Baugh - Photo credit J.M. I

JM Images Photography