Meet Our Chefs: Miriam Russell-Wadleigh

Miriam Russell-Wadleigh, Executive Chef

After spending a decade as a theatre carpenter and stage manager in Palo Alto, California, Miriam was ready for a new, but equally creative, environment. She enjoyed the fast pace of the theater, which is built upon having one chance to make a lasting impression, so joining the culinary world was a natural choice.

Miriam was classically trained at the California Culinary Academy. Since then, she has honed her craft in fine dining restaurants all across the San Francisco Bay Area, including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Palo Alto, Stars in Palo Alto, and Piacere in San Carlos. At Piacere she was renowned for her weekly Farmers Market Challenge, in which she created bespoke family-style meals from ingredients that guests themselves chose from the nearby farmers market. When a guest brought her lavender and lamb, she prepared a Lamb Rack with Herbes de Provence and Cannellini. To each kitchen she has brought adventurous dishes with timeless appeal, such as her Black Truffle Gelato served in miniature tasting cones. She also possesses extensive experience with cooking for special dietary needs, including vegan and vegetarian, heart healthy, raw, allergen-sensitive, and gluten-free cuisine.

Currently, she is the Executive Chef of Stanford University’s Lakeside Dining, where she seeks to broaden students’ palates and minds. “College is a unique time to explore. Trying new foods is part of this exploration!”