Kyra Edmondson: Adding a little love

Two of Kyra Edmondson’s passions collided when she was a young teenager attending Oasis Day Camp, a New York City-based group that provides instructional and recreational summer programs.

“I took a fashion class and while working with a sewing machine, I said, ‘I don’t what I’m doing,’ and I hated it,” she remembered. “Next I took a cooking class. I said, ‘This is it. Food and science, this is where it’s at.’”

She attended a culinary school in Manhattan her senior year of high school.

Then, knowing she wanted to pursue Culinary Arts, she discovered SUNY Adirondack at a college fair. “I talked to different colleges and things didn’t feel right,” Edmondson said. “When I went to the SUNY Adirondack table, everyone was so nice. I said, ‘I like you guys! You have a spunk about you!’”

She settled in on campus and dove into her classwork. She graduated and decided to stay in the area. 

“Coming from New York City, and seeing the mountains, trees and all those stars at night, the peace and quiet, and seeing how beautiful the lake is — I can’t leave here,” she said.

She worked in different roles in restaurants before securing a job as executive chef for the summer at Seagle Music Colony, a 106-year-old — the oldest in the United States — summer vocal training program and producer of opera and musical theater. The camp is a rustic lakeside retreat in Lake Luzerne — a stark contrast to life in the Bronx.

“It was very interesting, definitely very rustic and there are a heck of a lot of bugs!” Edmondson said. “But I got to be as creative as I wanted to be.”

She’s proud of the food she prepared and grateful for the relationships she developed with the singers and campers. 

“Love is my secret weapon when I cook,” she laughed. “I tell people, ‘I put this, that, a touch of this and, to top it off, a little love. It’s important to put your heart and soul into your food."

During her first run as executive chef, Edmondson said she learned the importance of a catchphrase in the SUNY Adirondack kitchen: “Teamwork makes the dream work.” “If I’m ever an executive chef again, having this experience helps me remember the team is important, something I hold dearly to,” she said. 

As she does much of what she learned at the college where, she said, Chefs Matt Bolton and Meg Diehl were her “culinary mom and dad.”

In fact, she’s spending some time mulling what she learned from them as she plans opening her own restaurant, for which she has already purchased an LLC.

“I’m taking a couple of steps back and using what I learned,” she said. “I’m excited to be in this part of my journey and looking forward to blessing the community with some good food.”