Katy Millard was born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa until her family moved to Mobile, Alabama. She left the Gulf Coast to attend Michigan State University and work in kitchens as she earned a degree in hospitality. Then she was off to Europe
While backpacking, Millard met her father for a meal in Paris at Restaurant Guy Savoy—she was wonderstruck. The next day Millard implored Chef Savoy for a job, even washing dishes. Savoy laughed, “You think I would let you wash my dishes?” Even so, Savoy gave Millard a chance.
She started out peeling shrimp and garlic and scrubbing floors, thinking she would stay for only a few months. Two and half years later, Millard moved on to cook at some of the best restaurants in France, including Le Château de la Chèvre d’Or, Le Grand Hotel in St Jean-Cap Ferrat, and La Table du Lancaster with Michel Troisgros, whom she counts a mentor.
Back Stateside, Millard joined Daniel Patterson’s team at Coi in San Francisco, where she continued to hone her skills, and refine her culinary voice.In 2010, she moved to Portland, Oregon, to open a restaurant. Coquine
began the Portland-way: as a pop-up. Spurred by its success, Millard and her husband, Ksandek Podbielski found a brick-and-mortar home in 2015. Named one of “America’s Best New Restaurants” by Bon Appétit
, Coquine combines Millard’s life experiences with her French backbone. Millard is now a four-time finalist for James Beard’s “Best Chef, Northwest.”