“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” —Charles Schulz
Emie Dunagan’s passion for the culinary arts began baking alongside her grandmother. When she was 15, Emie was sponsored by The National Association of Women Business Owners to attend The Young Entrepreneur’s Academy. She then opened her own business, Em’s Delights Bakery, where she made custom cakes and sold baked goods to local companies such as Heine Brother’s Coffee. At 18 she began Culinary School at Sullivan University, closed her Bakery, and began her pursuit of a career as a restaurant pastry chef at 502 Bar and Bistro in Louisville, KY.
In 2019, Emie was accepted in LEE Initiative’s Women Chefs of Kentucky program. She was paired with mentor chef Mindy Segal for an externship in Chicago, curated an ice cream flavor at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, attended media training with Wagstaff, created a unique bourbon blend with Maker’s Mark, and executed a dinner at The James Beard House in NYC. Emie then moved to Chicago to learn from her LEE Initiative mentor, Mindy Segal, and worked at Hot Chocolate until the company closed due to the global pandemic. Emie left Chicago to work at Edward Lee’s restaurant 610 Magnolia in Louisville, and then Khora in Cincinnati, before moving to Lexington to take over Apiary’s Pastry program.