Kathleen and Tate Roussel
Where are you both from?
Kathleen: I’m originally from the Dominican Republic. I grew up in Houston but decided to move to Miami where I met my husband in a Culinary School we both attended. We also lived in Baton Rouge before coming back to the Houston area.
Tate: I’m from Baton Rouge. My stepfather was in the Coast Guard, so I moved around a great deal while growing up. I’ve lived in Mobile, Alabama; Washington, DC; Virginia Beach, New Orleans, and Miami just to name a few.
How long have you both been League City residents? What brought you both to League City?
Kathleen: We’ve lived in League City for about three years, but prior to moving, we worked in League City. During Hurricane Harvey, we lived in Friendswood, and our house flooded. We lost everything. We were looking for a place that would offer stability for our son. We want him to have the stability we both didn’t have growing up because we moved around a lot. League City was the perfect fit for us.
I moved to the Houston area one year before my husband who still lived in Baton Rouge at the time. He was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatment. Thankfully, he has fully recovered from cancer.
What do you both like most about League City?
Kathleen: Personally, I love how everyone comes together. I like how family-oriented the City is. After Harvey, this community helped everyone out, and I told myself this is the City I want my son to be raised in. It feels like living in a big city with a small-town feel.
Tate: I like how this community supports local businesses by shopping at local shops and dining at local restaurants. This community gives small businesses a chance. Even businesses are willing to help other businesses out by networking, etc. That’s unheard of in other cities.
What is your favorite restaurant in League City?
Kathleen and Tate: Main Street Bistro.
Kathleen: We both enjoy the comfort food offered at that restaurant.
How long have you and your husband been Clear Springs High School teachers? What subject do you both teach?
Kathleen: I was a culinary instructor at Clear Springs High School for almost seven years before I resigned to run the business we started called “Chef of the House.” Before teaching, I worked in a corporate setting running over 20 restaurants.
Tate: I started out teaching food science for about six years at CCISD, because I’m a food scientist. A food scientist is basically a person who knows about the chemistry behind food and how it reacts to different ingredients or methods of cooking. I am now taking over my wife’s former role as a chef instructor at Clear Creek Springs High School, and I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to continue teaching what I love.
Prior to teaching, I worked in food science research and development where we, for example, tested how to fortify milk with omega 3 fatty acids, etc.
What led you both to start your own “Chef of the House” school?
Kathleen: The idea of starting our own business began in Miami. We both have a passion for cooking, and we both love to teach. My husband and I decided to combine our love of cooking with our love of teaching and open up a business where we can teach people how to cook in a fun, relaxed environment. In Miami, we held cooking classes and taught at summer camps, but we felt like Miami was not the place for us to raise a family, which is why we moved to the Houston area and finally settled in League City. This City was a perfect place to start our business and raise a family at the same time.
Tate: People tend to cook the same thing based on habit. Giving people tips and new techniques to demystify cooking is something I really enjoy. I like teaching people that cooking is not as hard as they think it is. The only thing that is difficult is coming up with original recipe ideas.
What do you both teach at the school?
Kathleen: We teach all types of cuisines for all ages, including Cuban, Cajun, etc. Whatever people are interested in learning, we can teach. We have anything from family nights, date nights to teen cooking classes, semester classes for kids, cooking boot camps, birthday parties, corporate team building and cooking competitions, such as “Nailed It.” I’m fortunate enough to have lived in Miami, which is like a melting pot of different cultures. I was exposed to different types of dishes that I can now pass on to people attending classes at “Chef of the House.”
My husband and I are a great team because between the both of us, we can create great things. Cooking is an art, and we want people to get in the habit of knowing when dishes are just right simply by tasting them.
Tate: I challenge my students, and show them organic chemistry doesn’t have to be boring. My goal is to get people to move away from processed foods and start cooking. Believe me, I know how busy people are, but people can work around it. They can cook once a week all the meals they will eat for the entire week. By cooking, people can spend more time with their families, and enjoy meals together.
We have people cook the meals, adjust the meals by adding more or less of certain ingredients, and then we give people the recipes. We don’t give them the recipe in the beginning because we don’t want them to feel intimidated.
Strangers come to “Chef of the House” and end up becoming friends. Then they come back to “Chef of the House” for more classes as friends. Cooking really does bring a community together.
How can people register to attend your school? How long are the courses?
Kathleen: Anyone interested in attending courses or to view our course schedules can visit our website at: www.chefofthehouse.com. Typically, courses can be two to three hours long.
Where is “Chef of the House” located?
Kathleen: It’s located in old League City on the League City, Friendswood border. Thanks to the support of our community, we are in the process of opening a second location in front of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Webster this August. We are very blessed and thankful that this community has helped our dreams come true by supporting us and giving us a chance.
Could you sum up League City in a few words?
Tate: Community, togetherness, and belonging.
Kathleen: League City is about family. It’s a great place to live in and a place we call home.