Meet Our Family

In the kitchen—

Dan Engel,
Executive Chef

Dan has been the Executive Chef at The Wandering Gourmet since 2004, when he and his wife Liz acquired it. Like many other chefs, he began cooking at a young age. He used to work in the automotive industry, but his true calling has always been the culinary world.  That passion remained in him until he took on The Wandering Gourmet.

Chef Dan believes in cooking with the freshest ingredients available, and finds reward in making all of his clients happy with the meals he creates. When he is not in the kitchen he still likes to stay busy. Dan enjoys working on his house, taking care of his yard, and playing golf.

 

In the office—

Liz Engel,
President and CEO

Liz is the backbone of both The Wandering Gourmet and Now Plating. She decided to take the leap into the personal chef industry in 2004 and invented Now Plating in 2016. She has a keen eye for detail, a true love for food, and an astute business sense. These traits, along with her strong work ethic, have helped her and Dan excel in the personal chef community.

Outside of work, her absolute favorite thing to do is to spend time with her family and friends – maybe even over a glass of wine. When she finds the time, Liz hopes to finish watching her movie collection, catch up on some great TV shows, travel the world, and read all of the books that are collecting dust in her library.

Emilia Juocys,
Office Manager

Emilia is a great addition to the Wandering Gourmet team. She fulfills the roles of coach, cheerleader, and culinarian all rolled into one, and that makes her a fantastic office manager. She is ready to take on any project or challenge, and we are excited to have her at the Wandering Gourmet.
 
Emilia has been working in the culinary field for over 10 years. Before that her specialties were in healthcare and athletic administration. Additionally, she was an international athlete. She trained under Brian Polcyn, and sharpened her skills while working with him at Five Lakes Grill, Forest Grill, and Cinco Lagos. When she lived in Chicago she worked for Virtue Cider, and buzzed around the Chicago food scene.
 
Emilia holds degrees in anthropology, sports science and the culinary arts. Food has been a part of her life since she was a little girl cooking alongside her grandmother. She cannot get enough of it. Emilia is excited to be a part of the Wandering Gourmet and to help contribute to all of our clients' in-home dining experiences. She loves emulsions, baking cookies, hard cider, orchids and terrible jokes. 

Leah Andary,
Baker + Shopper

Leah is an integral part of our team.  Always wearing a smile, Leah wears many hats here at The Wandering Gourmet.  Since 2018, she has been the talent behind our yummy desserts and is our star shopper.  Leah also helps to lead the kitchen in its daily successes.

She fell in love with baking during a culinary program in high school, but she began exploring the culinary world at a much younger age. As a child Leah could recall that she adored watching her mom cook meals.  As she got older, Leah began making dinner occasionally, and even made desserts for family events.  While her skills span across the full spectrum of cooking and baking, her specialties reside in breads and confections, with different flavored bon bons and truffles being her favorite.

Leah thrives on the creativity involved with baking and loves to experiment with different flavors or even incorporating something savory into a dessert. Her creative eye, attention to detail, and expertise in decorating ensure that anything she makes will not only look delicious, but taste heavenly.

When she’s not creating delectable treats in the kitchen, Leah enjoys spending quality time with her cats and her girlfriend, watching or participating in sports, and even playing the piano.

Chrissy Jenks,
Staff Photographer

Chrissy has been part of the team as our Media Specialist since 2017, and is the one responsible for photographing the delicious meals we cook.

Chrissy’s background in photography has covered everything from architecture, events, creative portraiture, and, of course, food! The driving force behind her craft is an endless passion for telling a story within an image. She is an internationally travelled photographer who has been in the industry for over 8 years and received her BFA in Photography from The College for Creative Studies in Detroit.

She delights in working for The Wandering Gourmet because each meal is a new story to tell.  She has already learned much about the delicate work and efforts of creating the perfect plate, and she thoroughly enjoys the exciting challenges that each new day brings!  She adores picking out the perfect props, arranging food precisely on a plate, and working with the fantastic staff in the kitchen to understand each meal thoroughly.

When she is not photographing the beautiful, tasty food created here, she is busy as a Fine Art Wedding Photographer at her own business, Chrissy Jenks Photography.  Outside of work, much of her free time is spent with her nose buried in a book, exploring local parks with loved ones, or endlessly dreaming and creating conceptual portraiture to tell her own stories