Caroline’s interest in cooking started in her mother’s kitchen and her father’s restaurants in Washington D.C. The daughter of a restaurateur, she grew up learning the ins and outs of all sides of the business, scrubbing, cooking, dining, managing, budgeting and more.
In 1995 she took her passion for food with her to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France learning the craft of cooking and become a classically trained French chef. Caroline completed her schooling in Cuisine, Pastry and Oenology and set her sites on working in hotels and restaurants on both sides of the house (front and back).
After a two year stint in 4- & 5-star kitchens in Santa Fe, NM, Washington DC and Alexandria, VA, she moved to New York City.
In 2000, Caroline began working for Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich at the famed Babbo flagship. After one year, she was promoted to open and General Manage OTTO at One Fifth Avenue where she developed the restaurant during construction. She remained there until the opening of The Spotted Pig, where she was moved as General Manager. At The Spotted Pig, she worked alongside Michelin-Starred Chef, April Bloomfield and helped to instigate all systems and work with the celebrity ownership to develop what is now a destination restaurant in New York City.
In 2004, Caroline left New York City for Charleston, SC and served as general manager in several restaurants including 5,000 sq. foot Boathouse Restaurant and later the modern Fish on King Street.
Caroline also proudly co-founded and chaired the popular Charleston Wine + Food Festival, where she remained for five years as Program Chair and Food Manager “Epicurean Goddess” hosting some of the most famous chefs in the country, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, Johnny Iuzzini, Wylie Dufresne, David Chang just to name a few.
While in South Carolina, Caroline left the restaurant business and started a personal chef business, FUEL (Fill Up-Enjoy Life!) working closely with a trainer and her clients to help people achieve food-related goals for health and wellness.
In 2009, Caroline moved back to New York City to continue her business, she folded Fuel into her newer venture, Caroline Lee Jackson. Caroline’s clients include celebrities Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried while on location and the CEO of a Fortune 100 Company.
Currently, Caroline enjoys teaching cooking lessons as well as throwing kids cooking parties (for adults too) and the ever popular Kitchen Makeover ‘Pimp My Kitchen’ keeps her busy in between her scheduled clients offering them delicious meals throughout the week. A member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Les Dames d’Escoffier is the only organization of its kind: a world wide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The invitation-only membership, composed of 28 individual chapters across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality.
Caroline lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and recently married one Mr. Smile, and is now Mrs. Caroline Lee Jackson Smile!