September Foodie: Kelly Kimpton

A Good Apple: On her quest for balance, Kelly Kimpton left the world of big business in favor of an idyllic Indiana farm.
It’s a warm afternoon in the small cafe at Tuttle Orchards. At the center of it all is Kelly Kimpton, the very picture of calm. She takes an order for a tomato-and-mozzarella sandwich with an apple-cider slushie, rings it up, and delivers the food before anyone realizes she’s also the executive chef at this 90-year-old family farm. The Culinary Institute of America–trained chef once helped run the kitchen at the luxe Miraval spa in Arizona and managed a $12 million budget and 400 food-service employees at IU Health. It turns out her happiest place is down a country road in Greenfield, Indiana, where chicken potpies get served on granny tablecloths. “I felt a connection to them,” Kimpton says of the Tuttle family.

Kimpton found her way here after enduring a grind familiar to many talented chefs: frequent moves, long hours, and high stress. A particularly grueling gig sent her surfing the web for options, and this place caught her eye. “It’s pretty amazing as a chef to have that fresh, quality food right at your fingertips,” she says. “I wash the dirt off of my own vegetables.” She has helped Tuttle renovate its cafe kitchen, launch seasonal dinners in the orchard, and build a space for making fresh doughnuts every day. The store’s freezer is packed with scratch-made to-go options: quiche, cobbler, and, yes, potpie. It all adds up to the life Kimpton was looking for. “Being kind, being compassionate, and making a community out here is who I am.”

One of Kimpton’s favorite things? “My mom’s roast beef.” Check out the recipe.