ABOUT CHEF JEREMY LAW
I began cooking with my mother when I was four. Spending nearly my entire upbringing in my family’s kitchen formed my view that good food is something that brings people together, nourishing them physically as well as emotionally. This gave me a foundation; I just needed to marry that home cooking with the knowledge and techniques of a professional cook.
After finishing college, I spent a year cooking at Triana, a Spanish restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. It belonged to Chef James Mazzio—a Food and Wine best new chef in 1999. Over the next several years, the Denver-area kitchens I worked in and the chefs I worked for taught me invaluable skills and introduced me to a lot of food. I was happy and I loved feeding people, but I didn’t have a plan.
ABOUT KIMBERLY KULERS
Admittedly, it’s a cliché, but as a young girl I so badly wanted a horse. In my parents’ back yard, there wasn’t room for one–or a cow, or a goat–or any of the other animals I asked for. I really just wanted a farm. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother in her huge home garden, which, at the time, almost seemed like a farm.
I started riding horses in high school, and continued riding horses and dreaming about my future farm while studying graphic design at East Carolina University. The horse riding and farm-dreaming continued as I worked as a graphic designer and marketing director in the equestrian industry. My career required a lot of exciting domestic and international travel, and I did finally own a couple of horses. Life was going well, but I wasn’t much closer at to having a farm.
ABOUT JEREMY & KIMBERLY
We met in a dive Jazz bar in Denver. I was working in two restaurants, and bartending. Kimberly and her equestrian colleagues came into my bar. We started talking and hit it off. My winning pick-up line: “What’s your birthday? Really? That’s mine, too.” It worked, because we have the same birthday. True story. After visiting each other over the next several months, I moved to NC, arriving on Valentine’s Day of 2004.
In Denver I lived alone in a basement apartment without so much as a plant. Now I had a wife, a horse and a newly-rented house in the country. It was a major, but wonderful change. Professional kitchen jobs can obliterate relationships so I stopped cooking professionally. I worked as a journalist for two years, first as a newspaper reporter–then as a television reporter and anchor. During this time, Kimberly opened her own marketing and design firm, and we moved to our current property. It had a few acres and we were finally able to have our horses at home.
Kimberly and I talked frequently about having a restaurant–combining her business and marketing savvy (yin) with my love of cooking (yang). She suggested I return to a professional cooking to see if I still enjoyed it. I soon found I loved it more than ever. When I began working at top-ranked Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, NC, was when SoCo became a distinct possibility.
Chef and the Farmer had been Kimberly’s and my favorite dining spot for years. Joining the restaurant’s family was a natural fit, and becoming Chef Vivian Howard’s sous chef was an honor. Working intimately with Chef Howard’s clever, locally-sourced and ever-changing menu was as educational as it was inspiring. It was also a brilliant introduction to the staggering selection of ingredients North Carolina has to offer.
After working under Vivian for a year, Kimberly and I realized a mutual, long-standing dream in building and opening SoCo Farm and Food. Kimberly now has the working farm and (at least some of) the animals she always wanted. I have a dream kitchen and people to feed.
SoCo is now three years old, and we are evermore grateful for our staff and our guests, as well as our friends and family, without whom SoCo Farm and Food would not exist.
Jeremy Law and Kimberly Kulers