The History of The Stocked Pot & Company, Catering by Simple Elegance
and Fun Culinary Team Building Events
It all started in 1985, when Chef Donald McMillan with more than 30 years’ experience in the food industry, purchased The Stocked Pot and Company, which was originally located at Reynolda Village. Next in 1989, Chef Don’s love of food led him to open Gisele Fine Foods, a restaurant named after his wife, and take over the catering facilities at the Sawtooth Building art complex in downtown Winston-Salem. In 1991 The N.C. School of the Arts then approached him to take over operations at the Stevens Center Arts Theatre, in the heart of downtown. Chef Don named the restaurant after another woman he admired, Edith Piaf. Chef Donald McMillan operated the Triad’s famous cooking school and Catering by Simple Elegance since November 1985 until ownership changed hands to his son Andrew McMillan in 2008. Andrew has enjoyed a lifetime of great culinary experiences as his travels have taken him around the world visiting over 31 countries on six continents. During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Andrew managed the South African Pavilion in charge of feeding over 400 athletes and support personnel four meals a day, as well as catering many VIP functions for the government of South Africa. These experiences play an important part in his role as CEO and President of The Stocked Pot Cooking School and Retail Store and Fun Culinary Team Building Events, Catering by Simple Elegance, as is evident in his extensive knowledge of wine and food at all the events he plans and caters.
In November 2008 The Stocked Pot Cooking School and Retail Store moved to its current location at 381 Jonestown Road in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Here, cooking skills and techniques are learned and improved, and as The Winston-Salem Journal noted, “The Stocked Pot taught Winston-Salem how to cook.” In addition, Andrew created an online business which grew expediently from dog and cat apparel and bowls and home décor to name brand quality cookware, knives and kitchen gadgets.
The Stocked Pot and Company, Catering by Simple Elegance and Chef Donald McMillan C.E.C. A.A.C. have been noted and written about numerous times in popular media, including: Southern Living Magazine, Home Plate Cooking Show, the Rick & Bubba Show on Turner South, Southern Outdoors on Fox Sports South, The Hallmark Channel and The Sundance Channel both with Dr. Maya Angelou, North Carolina Magazine, The National Culinary Review, WXII News Channel 12 Monday’s Menu–a weekly cooking show for over 16 years, and many others. Chef Donald McMillan C.E.C. A.A.C. has been active on the boards of Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority, Forsyth County Restaurant Association, Piedmont Opera Board,Forsyth County Family Services, to name a few.
We are continually setting the culinary trends in the Piedmont Triad, and have been since 1985. We stay current by using local ingredients and finding new and creative ways to cook, such as using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream and freeze Popcorn to create Dragon’s Breath and much more. Our catering company, Catering by Simple Elegance, continues to gain new fans as well as keeping existing customers by fostering long term relationships. Our food styling, presentation, service and quality are well recognized in the area. Supporting family businesses and hiring local from our community keeps us mindful of our start in 1985. Our company, Fun Culinary Team Building at The Stocked Pot and Company is a big and growing part of our business with customers such as Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Wake Forest University, Atlantic Coast Conference, PepsiCo, Reynolds American, Hanes Brands, Volvo Cars and Trucks, and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, all taking part in our exciting Team Building Events Experiences. We serve the entire Piedmont Triad area; Winston Salem, Greensboro and High Point, including Charlotte and Raleigh and all of North Carolina, Southern Virginia and Northern South Carolina.
We extend our thanks and gratitude to our customers for their continued loyalty and supporting our second-generation family business. We look forward to providing you the very best in culinary experiences and customer service.
Andrew McMillan CEO and President
Laurie McMillan CFO
Chef Donald McMillan C.E.C. A.A.C.