“Chef Margaret is simply… Brilliant! Her tablescapes are elegant, whimsical,
and completely irresistible. Her food is inspiring, clever, and delicious.
Everything she creates looks inviting and tastes even better!”
– Donna-Marie Chiroux
Margaret Hale, also known as “The Chef Next Door”, is a classically trained chef originally from Birmingham, Alabama. Being a true Southern girl, she discovered her love of cooking at a very young age and learned to cook at her mother’s apron strings. Margaret graduated from the University of Alabama in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Restaurant and Hospitality Management.
While earning her degree, Margaret spent her summers and Christmas vacations training under one of the top chefs and restaurateurs in Birmingham, as well as working as a chef at one of Tuscaloosa’s best fine dining cafés. She developed a very strong background in fine-dining cuisine and catered functions, while truly deepening her love for fresh, local, delicious, and beautiful food.
Margaret continued her education and graduated at the top of her class from Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College in 2009 with an Advanced Culinary Arts degree. Margaret then relocated to Huntsville and accepted a position as the Catering Director for Huntsville Hospital. This is where she quickly discovered her desire to combine all of her knowledge, skills, experience, and creativity to start her own catering business. Very simply put, Margaret has loved to cook and entertain her entire life and anyone who knows her would testify to her passion and devotion to her craft.
When she’s not working, Margaret enjoys traveling to “foodie” towns,
being dog-mommy to her Brittany spaniel, Sawyer, spending time with friends and family, exploring the city by trying new bars, breweries, and restaurants, Alabama football, riding horses, networking with fellow wedding vendors, being outside, cooking for pleasure, and Netflix. Though she loves everything The Chef Next Door offers, some of her favorites include Southern Shrimp and Grits, Chilled Spinach Dip (fancy, huh?), Ham and Swiss Melts, Pimento Cheese Tartlets, and Lemon and Herb Rotisserie Chicken with Lemon Beurre Blanc. And Cinnamon Apple Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel’s Caramel. And Mac ‘n Cheese. And Turkey-Apple-Muenster Crostini. And Hummus. And…….well……just everything.