My name is Elizabeth Pritchard I was born and raised in Wilson, NC. I currently live the “gypsy life” living on the road traveling with SummitForVets, raising awareness for disabled veterans. I am a chef by trade, I studied Culinary at Lenoir Culinary Arts, and worked under a world renowned Chef for three years before deciding to move up the chain and become a Leader. I lead by example always educating myself on new food trends and keeping up to date with safe food practices. Leaving the heat of southern kitchens was a big decision to make; a decision in which my love for the outdoors was combined with my love for cooking. I decided my knowledge and skills would be of better help on the road. I took on the role as event coordinator for Summit. I am in charge of planning upcoming events and summits, promoting social media and engaging readers; getting veterans involved and getting them outdoors. I plan meals, prepare and cook for veterans while on excursions. I even show tricks and tips, how to cook with a Dutch oven. If you had of told me when I started cooking professionally, that I would soon leave my fast-paced, high-stress job and the comfort of a beautiful kitchen with all the equipment I could ever need, for a camp stove that I couldn’t even regulate the temperature and an open fire as an oven I would have told you, you were crazy!
I grew up in a large blended family. After both of my parents remarried I had all the love and support I could ever ask for. My family grew significantly and so did my self-confidence. In high school, I developed a love for cooking and baking. I would come home from school and cook supper, bake cakes and prepare my father’s lunch for the following day. When my Mommie Dearest would get home we would watch all the cooking shows together. Our favorites included: Ace of Cakes, Cake Boss, and Cupcake Wars. I was going to grow up and be just like them making cakes from sculpting them into beautiful elaborate creations. Years later after working for others and learning the ends and out of baking, I did just that, I started an at home bakery; EDPs Creation. I made countless cakes, working by myself being my own boss and I loved every second. I made mistakes along the way and had to deal with the consequences, learning that “hey, maybe making cakes without contracts isn’t the best idea”. I made my second wedding cake without any money up front the wedding was canceled. I had a huge cake in my kitchen and nothing to show for it. I continued making cakes, two sometimes three a week and a wedding cake almost every weekend. I was up to my eyeballs in cakes when a Chef and long time best friend, Kimberly Harrell, offered me a position in her kitchen I could not refuse. I acted as her right hand and Pastry Chef, we were an unstoppable force. The restaurant jumped into the Top Ten best restaurants on the east coast per open table. The best part, she supported my passion for baking and art, if I had a cake order on the side she allowed me the time to complete it, even if that meant I had to leave work a few hours early on occasion. And when I was offered a position in an art gallery she let me take time off to complete my art for the opening. I pride myself on my artistic abilities whether it be on canvas or a blank plate ready to be plated for presentation.
In August of 2016 SummitForVets was born.
I left my job, tears were shed but I vowed to continue cooking and learning about the thing that I was passionate about. I had a lot to learn about open fire cooking and baking. And so the adventure began.
I have a personal Instagram and a cooking Instagram. I use my @Chefizzyontheroad to post pictures of food I make on the road through our travels. I ask the question to engage my audience i.e. What’s your favorite meal on the grill? I then post pictures of a meal on the grill that veterans and Summitforvets have eaten and have enjoyed.
Enjoy Elizabeth’s thoughtful answers to our Bonus questions.
If you could cure any disease in the world what would it be? Why?
Cancer as a whole is what I imagine to be a terrifying diagnosis. Being high risk for cancer myself and watching my aunts and parents battle this terrible disease I would wipe the word from the dictionary if I could. Touching on another question… Do I think Cancer will be cured in my lifetime? I think there is already a cure for EVERYTHING but Big Pharma and Doctors have their hand in it. If there was a cure the medical field would be out so much money. My friend, who shall remain nameless, is a member of the Big Pharma medical field and believes in holistic medicine. She uses oils and natural remedies for herself. She says to me “Elizabeth, it’s so corrupt. Half the medicines cancel each other out. Doctors prescribe multiple medications to one patient and they are canceling each other out! There is more side effect than good. They call me with all these new symptoms saying they are worse off than before… if that’s not a problem I don’t know what else is… Let’s just throw a new pill at the problem
What advice would you give the teenage you?
Stop being a little shit! Your parents are trying to better you and raise you the best way they know how. You aren’t easy to deal with you know?! Everything doesn’t have to be a battle, they aren’t out to get you or make your life hell. Chances are everything they are telling you is right. Make time for your family be fast to forgive and say you’re sorry and always say “I love you” before hanging up the phone, no matter how pissed you are! No one is guaranteed tomorrow ….Oh, and don’t slam doors you’ll lose your door privileges all together!
Do you think war is necessary?
War is ugly but necessary. If there was an easier less messy way to remain free I think we would have tried that by now. When someone from another country threatens your freedoms in a hostile manner you can’t sit across a table and have a sit-down conversation about how to remedy their grievances. Yes, it’s messy and many have suffered and continue to suffer from war. But, we still have the right to love who we choose to love, work in the field of our choice, live where we chose to live. Not everyone has that right, but they should! Many are told from the time they are born, “this is who you are,” they have no choice in their life decisions. I spoke with a veteran about a year ago that said the most selfless thing I think I’ve ever heard. He said he had fought for my freedoms and his own as well. Everyone deserves that right, not just Americans. He would put his life on the line again to see that others had the same freedoms as we did.
Do you have a pet? What’s its’ name?
My dog’s name is Zeus, he’s a mischievous little guy. He was found on the side of the road by a friend. Zeus was being chased by a group of pack dogs, he was ratty, missing chunks of hair and a corner of his tongue. When I went to see him at her house I said what’s his name? She said I don’t know, looked at Zeus and said: “What’s your name, Sir?” A few days later he was named “Zeus-Cous” The God of Gods and ruler of food, aka Cous-Cous, and juicy booty. I still call him Sir when convenient.
Do you have a nickname? How’d you get it?
My mother nicknamed me Busy Izzy when I was a tiny thing. I was always doing something or getting into shenanigans. It was later shortened to Izzy, though I prefer to be called by name and not an abbreviation. Busy Izzy carried on into adulthood as I’m rarely found not doing anything.
What is your earliest memory?
My earliest memory is of me annoying my older brother, Chris. It was the first of many annoyances to come. I should note that there’s a large age gap between us. He was in high school and I was a tiny tot. I was very young so the memory is a bit hazy, but as I recall he was studying for exams in his room. When I knocked on the door and flung it open with a whiny little voice I asked: “Chris, Whatcha doin’?” ‘I’m studying, GO AWAY!” This occurred about three more times before I was told I was bothering him. So, to gloat I sat in the middle of the hall and yelled “MOM, I’M BOTHERING CHRIS” and chuckled. I recall Chris running out of his room and tripping over me in the middle of the long dark hallway.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
Though I’ve never seen a ghost, I’ve experienced some unexplained events. When I was a teen my father moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As many know this is quite the paranormal state; there are many television shows and movies on the matter. As a teen, I didn’t know this, but I never felt very comfortable in the home and moved bedrooms often. My first room was a small bedroom on the second-floor. I wanted a larger bed that wouldn’t fit in this closet-sized room. I was moved to the room down the hall, at the back of the house, above the kitchen. Every night before bed, I made sure that I closed my closet door. I didn’t like open doors while I slept, something about the darkness of this closet scared me. I never could put my finger on it, but to this day I keep all the doors in the room where I’m sleeping closed. Well every morning, when I would wake up the closet door would be wide open. I kept these events to myself for years, and when asked why I wanted to change rooms I had no explanation other than I like the attic better. And so I moved upstairs to stay for the rest of our time in PA.
Years later, when we moved back to NC, back to my childhood home, I casually brought it up in conversation “Did anything weird ever happen to you in the house on Tulip?” JJs eyes grew big “what happened to you?” After telling him the closet story, and that I never felt alone in the house; he told me he never did either and that on multiple occasions he would hear someone or something walking around upstairs. He thought it was just China, our great Dane, only to discover she was asleep in her bed and he was home alone. My father scoffed at us both and we never discussed it further.
Do you have a favorite dinosaur?
My favorite dinosaur is a toss up between a Brachiosaurus and a Triceratops. Both are huge majestic beasts and herbivores. I think that’s pretty neat.
In a movie about your life, What current or past star would play the lead?
Whoever it is they need to be strong lead women with a bit of an attitude. My character has to speak her mind and stand up for what she believes in, no matter what waves she creates or who she offends. She needs a death stare when mad with a short fuse, but a loving heart. When she cries it breaks your heart because you know she cares with all of hers. She must carry herself well and think of others before herself.
I asked multiple people this question and thought it would be cool to see who they thought should play me and themselves. I’ll be working on the screenplay soon. Haha
These were some of my favorite answers.
Sandra Bullock, Audrey Hepburn, Julia Roberts
Other Lead Roles(if I forgot you in the screenplay, I apologize, but we’ll give you your own spin-off show if you’re that upset about it):
Creed should be played by Leo Decaprio
he’ll go to church when they put in that smoking section, hallelujer!” My Mom: Meryl Streep.
And my Best Friends, Carson: Natalie Portman or Winona Ryder. She has to be a sweetheart but if you cross her well be hiding your body or blowing something up like Ryder in Heathers Chancey: Honestly there’s not a female comedian funny enough to play her. Sometimes she makes me laugh so hard I pee a little! Like the colored things, Pam from Archer utters.