Contos has been teaching and spreading her enthusiasm to the public since 2000. Her excitement in the kitchen is contagious and this is one of the ways her passion sparkles. Recipe writing and developing fun seasonal and cooking classes is an art she has mastered. Contos is passionate about local and organic foods, plus supporting farms in many ways. You will find her recipes celebrated by many including the Vermont Cheese Council.
Growing up among Chicago's culinary masterminds, her inspiration for the culture of gourmet cuisine was instilled in her from the beginning. Courtney was raised running around her father's side at the family restaurants, one of the restaurants Chez Paul (1948-1992), is still remembered by many locals in Chicago. It was through her father's eyes that she began to develop a true understanding of the restaurant business.
She placed this experience into a technical framework with a hospitality and culinary arts degree from Chicago's Kendall College. During culinary school, Chef Contos was honored to be chosen to have a culinary internship at Charlie Trotter's restaurant where she earned Kendall's Outstanding Internship Award. After graduating from Kendall College, Contos was sought out by Charlie Trotter for a full-time chef position because he recognized her raw talent, eagerness to learn and her passion for excellence and creativity in new dishes. Trotter further recognized her talents by having Contos assist him in his national cooking show. After leaving "Trotters" Contos opened her own business traveling throughout the United States preparing lavish gourmet parties for upscale well-known clients, this included menu development, providing top notch wait staff, flower arranging, wine paring, table decorating, and exquisite meal preparation and service, Contos is still called upon today. Furthering Contos' recipe development she went to NYC and tested recipes for Martha Stewart's magazine "Every Day Food" (2002).
Along with her own business, Contos was culinary instructor at The Chopping Block Cooking Schools in Chicago and Kendall College. She taught cooking classes in a hands-on and demonstration environment. She accepted a executive chef instructor position for Cook Academy at The Essex Resort & Spa and moved to VT.
Contos joined the blogging world in 2006, her blogs "Edible Moments" and "Eat Out Vermont" have a large following and rich culinary archive. In 2008, she wrote the very first "Cooking Fresh" article in Edible Green Mountains Magazine. Her recipes are also featured in the national "Edibles" cookbook. Over the years Contos has produced and appeared on many TV cooking segments, including Vermont Public Television. She has a monthly cooking segment on WCAX Channel 3 and adores celebrating seasonal recipes highlighting Vermont farm foods.
Contos, now finds joy as the owner of Chef Contos kitchen & store in Shelburne Vermont. In 2016 Food & Wine magazine named her cooking school one of the best in the country! She has been featured in Vermont Life Magazine, New York Times, Burlington Free Press, Seven Days, and the Wall Street Journal.
She is in the process of developing her first cookbook, yet unnamed.