#MakingTime: A Day in the Life of 'Culinary Oprah' Elle Simone, Host on 'America's Test Kitchen'

Elle Simone

Photo courtesy of Elle Simone


Women can do anything — but not everything. As the largest online career community for women, we at Fairygodboss realize that balance is a myth, and that picking what to prioritize when everything feels important on a day-to-day basis isn't always easy. In the #MakingTime series, women share with us how, for one day, they chose to spend their most precious resource: time.


Who: Elle Simone

What: Founder & President of SheChef, Food Stylist and Host on "America’s Test Kitchen," and culinary activist

Where: Boston, Mass.


6 a.m. 

My alarm goes off and I’m a little bummed that I don’t get to hit snooze today because I have a photoshoot today. I’m the resident Food Stylist at "America’s Test Kitchen" a.k.a. ATK (that’s my day job). Our shoot starts early than the average work day so I have to be on-time and early. 

7:15 a.m. 

I’m in my car and headed to Boston’s Seaport District, that’s where our office is. Lately, I’ve got Koffee in heavy rotation on my playlist because she makes very positive music and it gets my day going on the right note. 

8:10 a.m.

I arrive at ATK and head up the our offices. I land my things at my desk and begin to gather my supplies for food styling. These include my apron, food styling kit, a host of other common kitchen tools and a cart to hold it all, plus designated bins for making sure the prop dishes get cleaned. 

8:30 a.m. 

The team is all gathered in the Photo Studio: myself, the Art Director and the Photographer. We discuss our shoot which today is focused on chocolate…seems like this day is going perfect so far. The shoot is about to start so I won’t bore you with all the crazy little details but this shoot is for a book about Chocolate that will come out in the late Fall of this year! 

3:30 p.m.

The shoot is over and I’ll take all of my dirty dishes to the dish room, pack up my kit and apron and return to my desk to check emails. 

4 p.m. 

This is the time of day I take to check emails that I may have missed during the day and to also take a look at SheChef Inc.’s calendar for the week and email. It looks I have a few phone meetings set up with our partners in Detroit to begin planning the September events. 

4:15 p.m. 

I’m sending out confirmations for all SheChef meetings this week so that I know that my calendar is set. I’m also looking at my agenda for each meeting to make sure that I’m as efficient as possible and meeting my personal goal of keeping all meetings at a 20 minute maximum. 

4:50 p.m.

I’m writing notes about todays shoot and having a brief meeting with my manager and the Director of Photography to make sure we met our visual goals in the photoshoot today. Seems we have so I’m going to pack it up for the day and head out. 

5 p.m.

I’m meeting my friend Christine at The Wing Boston for an event so I’m heading to Back Bay. It’s rush hour so the traffic is moving slow but I’ve got my good vibes music playing; I should be great. 

6:30 p.m. 

Christine and I have reached The Wing and the event is called “Women of Color Unite!” I’m a new member of The Wing and also one my recipes is featured on the menu in their café. That’s kind of a big deal! 

8:45 p.m.

Christine and I head to Select Oyster Bar for dinner and catch up since I haven’t seen her in almost 4 months. We catch up on SheChef and all things that girlfriends chat about and eat some GREAT seafood. I decide part ways, sadly. I have to get up and do this all over again tomorrow so home I go. 

9:45 p.m. 

I’m home and showered and ready for bed. I turn my phone off, watch a little HULU and then call it a night. Gotta do it all over again tomorrow! G'nite….


Interested in contributing to Fairygodboss' #MakingTime series? Email [email protected] with "#MakingTime" in the subject line.

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