Chef/Owner Marla Leblow McFadden
Born and raised in St. Croix in the USVI, chef/owner of Second Nature Gourmet Marla Leblow spent her early years enjoying the island lifestyle. Later in her childhood, her family relocated to Western North Carolina where her love of the mountains began. During high school she worked in local restaurants, following in her older brother’s footsteps. After attending college at Appalachian State University, where she studied photography, she decided to change her professional direction toward a culinary career.
After paying her dues working in kitchen jobs throughout high school and college, Marla was encouraged by a mentor chef to attend culinary school which is where her love of cooking started to flourish. She attended culinary school at Asheville Buncombe Tech in Asheville, North Carolina where she focused on general savory foods. During her time in Asheville, she competed in culinary individual and team events including American Culinary Federation Student Team and Individual La Chaine de Routisseur. Both individual and group competitions brought her to national levels.