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The daughter of an African American serviceman and a Korean émigré mother, LaMara Davidson’s melding of soul and Korean food comes honestly — it’s what she grew up eating. One of LaMara’s earliest food memories is sitting on the kitchen floor in her family’s Quad Cities home peeling garlic as she watched her mother salt and wash Napa cabbage for kimchi. Growing up, she’d help her mother make mandu — Korean dumplings — and fondly remembers the sound and smell of kalbi sizzling on the grill. She learned traditional southern techniques simply by observing her paternal grandmother, a native Alabamian, who showed her how to make turnips and mustard greens. Her secret: keeping the leaves whole. “She swore they tasted better that way.” LaMara was able to delve into both cuisines more deeply after her family moved to Atlanta, where there was both a burgeoning Korean community and a large black middle class. The abundance of Asian flavors and Southern foods helped LaMara develop her palate for a future in food.
LaMara moved to New York in 1999 where she enrolled at The New School’s Culinary Arts training program after a stint managing talent at Sony Music. She leveraged the skills she learned at the New School to start her own catering business for connections in the music and entertainment industries, which included Chris Rock, Talib Kweli, and Citizen Cope, to name a few. Almost a decade later, she returned to Atlanta and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu, where she received a Les Dames Escoffier scholarship and graduated at the top of her class. Landing her first professional job at The Ritz Carlton Atlanta.
For the majority of her career, Davidson continued almost exclusively for the Marriott Corporation, working at prestigious properties including The Ritz Carlton Atlanta, JW Marriott Austin and the Gaylord Texan Resort in Texas. During her time as executive chef at the Gaylord Texan, LaMara was selected as one of twelve chefs nationally to be featured in Marriott International’s Diary of the Craft Artisan video series, an initiative highlighting Marriott’s food and beverage talent across the globe. LaMara traveled the U.S. as part of their International's team of corporate chefs supporting all brands under their umbrella which included The Autograph Collection Lido House Newport Beach, The Westin Pittsburgh, and Sheraton San Diego.
In 2020 she left the corporate world and launched her product line Cornbread and Kimchi, creating special blends of flours, bread crumbs and seasonings showcasing her signature “Seoul food” style. A true love letter to her heritage and upbringing complete with merchandise swag.
Today Chef LaMara’s involvement in the industry moves beyond the line as well with appearances at Charleston Wine + Food, print and online features in People Magazine, Food Network Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Food & Wine, Forbes.com, HuffPost, Saveur and Essence to name a few. In February 2022, Davidson joined CookUnity the first ever chef collective where LaMara will debut her menu of inspiring dishes for meal deliveries in Atlanta and soon to be nationwide.
Meals by LaMara Davidson are prepared fresh in small batches in local kitchens across the country.
Signature meals by LaMara, prepared in small batches and available to order directly to your door.
Small batch meals crafted by top culinary talent. Delivered to your door each week.
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