Full Sail Stories
Published Jun 27, 2022
Elle Simone Scott Combines the Kitchen with the Film Set at PBS
How this Entertainment Business grad is leaving her mark on the culinary world as an Executive Editor and on-air chef with America’s Test Kitchen.
“I come from a family of great cooks,” says LaShawnda “Elle” Simone Scott. “I like to joke, even though it's the truth, that I am not the best cook in my family, I'm just the only one who does it professionally.”
But Elle is doing much more than just cooking professionally. As an Executive Editor and on-air chef for PBS’s America’s Test Kitchen, Elle has built a successful career bringing the culinary arts to viewers at home and is using her Full Sail degree to help her and other chefs in marginalized spaces grow into successful entrepreneurs with her organization SheChef.
A graduate of Full Sail’s Entertainment Business master’s program, Elle’s career in culinary media boasts credits on some of the most popular cooking shows on television for networks including ABC and the Food Network. “The education I got [at Full Sail] has given me so much, so many tools for sustainability,” says Elle. “I think that one of the things that Full Sail provided for me in terms of the gap between education and real-life application was how I worked when I was on set.”
Starting her degree while actively working in the culinary media industry, Elle recalls how the influence of her classes allowed her to transition into roles beyond just cooking and food styling.
“We were actually in the middle of four months of shooting [the eighth season of] Next Food Network Star. So by the time I was in the first three months of school, I had already learned so much. I immediately went from only caring about the food part that I was responsible for, to being far more interested in how the directors moved, how they communicated with the camera people, their morning meetings,” she says. “I think it got me more interested in the totality of production, all the moving, working parts.”
With a blossoming skillset in production and years of experience in the culinary industry under her belt, Elle was able to find a prosperous balance between the two worlds, eventually landing a role as an on-camera personality and Executive Editor with America’s Test Kitchen, the longest-running and most successful cooking show on public television.
“I went from just being a food stylist to being a culinary producer. That's a huge bump because when they see you know a little bit more, they think of you when other opportunities come up. And so I got those opportunities, and if it wasn't for Full Sail making me feel empowered to really get into all the parts of it, I don't know that I would've done that on my own,” says the grad.
Elle’s experience in uplifting her own career has also inspired her to uplift others. Shortly after finishing her degree, Elle founded SheChef, a professional networking organization for women chefs of color and their allies. Through SheChef, Elle has been able to equip others with the skills that allowed her to set herself apart from her white counterparts in the world of culinary media. “When you're a solo entrepreneur or an entrepreneur of color, you don't have a ton of resources. So you need to be able to know how to do a lot of it on your own,” she says. “So [I really enjoy] being able to equip them with the tools that I got from Full Sail.”