Kitchen Staff

St. Mary’s Sewanee Retreat Center is famous for its delicious and healthy meals. As the head Chef and Food Director, Emily Wallace, says, “Love is the main ingredient in every dish.” Food is carefully prepared with each group as well as each individual in mind. Menus are an integral part of retreat planning and make the spiritual experience complete. Our kitchen team literally puts their heart and soul into each meal.

Angela Lanier brings more than 40 years of culinary experience to the SMS kitchen. Her joy and laughter can be tasted in every bite!  Angela can be seen singing along with various genres of music while she folds biscuit dough or dancing to the beats while beating eggs. She loves working with her SMS family because of the beautiful atmosphere and “amazing vibes”. If she is not making dishes for her groups here she is dishing out ice cream at the local ice cream parlor on the mountain, “The Scoop”, owned by SMS Chef Emily, and where Angela is the manager. Angela was born in Texas, grew up in Louisiana, and now lives in Winchester and is very close with family, three daughters and six grandbabies. Laughter, music, good food, family, friends, and true crime mysteries are Angela’s recipe for full life!

Josh Orange grew up in Tracy City and his family enjoyed traveling. He settled down close to his home town in Monteagle. Josh’s smile and joy for his work is contagious. He has worked in the culinary field for nearly a decade and still loves to learn about new dishes and methods of cooking. Josh has been known to try new recipes and test them out on the staff before the guests arrive. His creative spirit is not just in the kitchen but also on the canvas and in the garden, as he is a painter and gardener as well. Josh enjoys working at SMS the most because of the work family and the “glorious sunsets”.

Derrick Parsons is a mountain native from Grundy County. He is a family man first and foremost with “an awesome wife” and three amazing children. His passion is being a husband and father. When he is not busy taking care of his family, he enjoys working on his dad’s truck that was left to him and is very special to him. Second only to his family is his passion for cooking and caring for the guests at SMS. He is careful, considerate, and hardworking when it comes to meal preparations and all that comes with that. Derrick is not afraid of the heavy lifting! He is also a very talented amateur artist. What he likes most about working at SMS is the view at New Hope Bluff and his coworkers.