Maya Lovelace spent her early years in rural North Carolina, then moved to Atlanta, Georgia for a taste of city life. After abandoning a surely lucrative career hinging on a triple major in psychology, philosophy and French to pursue her love of cooking, she ended up spending time in some serious kitchens. Atlanta, Charleston, Portland… she ate and drank and worked her way through them all, and under the tutelage of many chefs along the way, she learned not only technique, but also how to appreciate and get back in touch with her country roots. She served time on the opening line of Husk under Sean Brock, dedicating time to learning both old southern preservation techniques and dirty kitchen talk alike. She moved to Portland to work under Naomi Pomeroy at Beast, relishing the bounty of produce and natural beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Now, she is focused on cooking updated southern Appalachian fare at Mae, which is named in honor of her late grandmother.