As a child, Jamie Warrick wasn’t one to sit in front of the television watching cartoons. Instead, she regularly watched Julia Childs and other chefs on PBS. She was eager to try the foods they demonstrated, and her childhood fascination sparked a passion for life.
“I always knew I wanted to work with food,” said Warrick, the new head of product development for LH Hayward & Company, which includes Camellia Brand, Dagostino Pasta and Gulf Coast Blenders.
Warrick’s culinary journey also passed through her mother’s kitchen, where she chopped vegetables and helped cook for the family. These early experiences prepared her well for the fourth generation family business which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2023.
His research and development work includes formulating products for all of the company’s brands, including the expansion of the new Camellia Brand Seasoning and Dinner Mix product line.
A native of New Orleans, she credits the high school home economics classes she attended in Houston after Hurricane Katrina with reviving her culinary interests. After graduating—a proud graduate of Warren Easton High School—the first-generation student attended Northwestern State University, where she earned a degree in business administration with a minor in culinary arts. She then enrolled at the Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge.
From there, Warrick followed a culinary career in casinos, first as a prep cook at L’Auberge in Baton Rouge before moving to Baltimore as a sous chef at Johnny Sanchez’s restaurant, then at The Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen, both part of Caesar’s Entertainment.
New Orleans eventually lured the chef home, where she worked with Harrah’s Food Services until 2020, when the casino closed due to the pandemic. Shortly after returning to New Orleans, the chef also found out she was pregnant and is now mother to five-year-old Jaxon, who she describes as “my life and my best recipe”.
Just before the pandemic, Warrick decided to go back to school, enrolling in the culinology program at Holy Cross University.
“This degree is based primarily on product development and involves food science,” she said. “My goal with food is to make sure I give back to the community, especially by bringing more women of color into the field of food science.”
The Culinology program at Holy Cross focuses on culinary arts and food science, as well as food product development, including business management, nutrition, processing technology, and government regulations. All of these mesh well with his role at LH Hayward & Company, as does his dedication to family.
“I function better when I feel like part of a family. And it’s all family here, professionally and personally,” Warrick said. “The work-life balance of a product development manager is amazing compared to that of a restaurant chef.”