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 and Cooking School, which was originally located at Reynolda Village. Next in 1989 Chef Don’s love of food led him to open Gisele Fine Foods, 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 Piedmont Triad’s famous cooking school and Catering by Simple Elegance since November 1985 until ownership changed hands to his son Andrew McMillan in 2008 and The Stocked Pot Cooking School and Retail Store moved to its current location at 381 Jonestown Road in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Andrew enjoys 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. This and many other 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 and Great Deals On The Web, as is evident in his extensive knowledge of wine and food at all the events he plans and caters. In addition, Andrew created a third business for online shopping which grew expediently from dog and cat apparel and bowls and home décor to name brand quality cookware, knives and kitchen gadgets.
We are continually setting the culinary trends in the Triad and have been for over 30 years. 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 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 30 years ago.
Fun Culinary Team Building Events at The Stocked Pot Cooking School 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 Car Co., Morgan Stanley Smith Barney taking part in our exciting Team Building Events. Serving the entire 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 for another 30 years.
Andrew C. McMillan CEO and President and Chef Donald McMillan CEC AAC
Frequently Asked Questions
Catering for private events, corporate events and weddings
At Catering by Simple Elegance every customer is unique! We are passionate about culinary excellence and exemplary service. Our range of services varies from full-service events to simple delivery or pick up orders. Catering by Simple Elegance’s expansive menus affords the ability to work within budget requirements, service above expectations, and most importantly, provide a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. We invite you to meet with our culinary team to create a menu and event that is uniquely yours.
Whether you’re having family over or a birthday party, we think of everything so you don’t have to. You can focus on the event rather than the catering. Contact us and let us prove why we’re known as the Triad’s “go-to caterer.” Pick up, delivery or full service, we have you covered!
Whether you’re planning a high-end Gala or a down-home BBQ party, you’ll love the choices and the quality we bring to the event. We have a wide variety of delicious menu items from which to choose.
Beautiful tablescapes, innovative buffets, wonderful ice sculptures, popcorn machines, Cajun Jambalaya and Spanish Paella Stations…you name it, we’ve got it! We are passionate when it comes to our food presentations and table designs. We can take a modest budget and exponentially maximize its “Wow Factor.” View our online gallery to see our creative and beautiful table and food presentations.
Catering by Simple Elegance is a Piedmont Triad culinary event planning company specializing in catering, culinary team building, culinary cooking parties and culinary cooking school by the Piedmont Triad’s and North Carolina’s Premier Caterer.
Our cooking school and commercial kitchen space can be rented as a venue for:
- Bridal, Bachelorette and Baby Kitchen Showers
- Rehearsal Dinners
- Dinner with Friends
- Child and Adult Birthday Parties
- Cookbook Signings and Release Parties
- Cooking Parties of All Types
- Culinary Demonstrations by Associations and Gourmet Food Manufacturers
- Kitchen Space to Test Product Ideas
- Photo Shoots
- Press Conferences and Product Rollouts
- Private Kitchen for Recipe Testing or Development
- Television and Video Production