Kat LeSueur is a professionally trained chef and former restaurateur, certified French Wine Scholar, Certified Personal Trainer, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist in training located in Portland, Oregon.
I am available for your food and fitness needs, from private dining to personal training. Let's chat about how we can work together!
my background & qualifications
I was born in the Chicago suburbs to parents who highly valued learning through travel, food, and exposure to different cultural experiences. This resulted in travels that brought me to Morocco, France, Mexico, England, and Ireland before age 16. Each destination brought a new appreciation for expressions of culture through food, which I began to try to recreate in the kitchen at a young age.
Growing up, cooking with my mom for special occasions and taking on ambitious baking projects with my dad were highlights of home life. In college, I began hosting elaborate dinner parties to share my love of cooking with friends while testing recipes and techniques.
At the University of Iowa, I obtained a BA in Psychology with a focus on clinical practice. Though I had aspirations of attending graduate school to further a career in counseling psychology or clinical social work, my love of food and entertaining eventually won out and brought me to Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland.
After graduating from OCI with honors, I had a short but intensive time working and learning in Portland kitchens. My first experience writing, executing, and managing a menu on my own would be in a seasonal position at the Black Walnut Inn in Dundee, where my love of food and wine collided.
Shortly thereafter, serendipity led me to open Cocotte Bistro in Northeast Portland. Until November 2015, Cocotte was a neighborhood favorite that received accolades from local and regional critics. Twice Zagat rated and frequently named amongst the top restaurants of Portland, I was immensely proud of Cocotte. The lifestyle was unsustainable, however, so I sold the restaurant in hopes of finding a more rewarding and less stressful way of life.
Now that my schedule allows me to seek more balance in life, I am thrilled to be able to return to my passion for helping others through health coaching in addition to freelance cheffing. Though I never pursued Psychology professionally, having a personal trainer with a focus on sports nutrition allows me to work one on one with those looking to thrive more through the scope of food and fitness.
Having worked with my own personal trainer since moving to Portland in 2008, I know firsthand what a profound impact this relationship can have on one's life. Just as many therapists or counselors have a therapist or counselor of their own, I plan to continue working with my trainer for the foreseeable future even though I have sought out to become a trainer myself. Working with my trainer has not only made me stronger physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
My own ongoing search for balance includes prioritizing my weightlifting practice, cooking nutritious meals for myself and my husband, getting outside with our dogs as often as possible, and finding new, interesting, or challenging experiences from live theater and music to new fitness classes or obstacle course races.
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of Iowa 2008
Culinary Degree, President's Award, Oregon Culinary Institute 2009
Chef Proprietress, Cocotte, 2010-2015
French Wine Scholar, French Wine Society, 2015
Certified Personal Trainer NFPT
Fitness Nutrition Specialist NFPT - in process