Roxanne Spruance jump-started her career while still in high school in Chicago, apprenticing at Blackbird and working with StarChefs Rising Stars alums Elissa Narrow and Shawn McClain. A student athlete, Spruance excelled in the kitchen and also in field hockey. She was recruited by Michigan State University, where she graduated with dual degrees in environmental biology and zoology and the other in fisheries and wildlife. Spruance also cooked throughout college.
Shortly after graduating, Spruance picked up her first executive chef gig opening Sopra Bistro, about 90 minutes outside Chi-town in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where she cooked for more than two years before moving to New York City in 2010. For the next two years she held the position of chef de partie at Wylie Dufresne’s legendary wd~50. Modern techniques and experimental flavor profiles in tow, Spruance followed up one iconic restaurant experience with another, as sous chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Fresh from the gardens upstate, Spruance consulted on the opening of Cafe Tallulah on the Upper West Side, and then joined Alison Eighteen in the Flatiron as executive chef, where she continued to develop her ingredient-focused, nose-to-tail style. That same year, 2013, Spruance competed on and won the Food Network show “Chopped,” the bacon episode.
In 2016, Spruance opened French-American Kingsley as chef and owner, the culmination of career begun at Blackbird as a teenager.