THAT'S MY FRAND: Courtney McKenzie Hays of The Crafty Goose


THAT’S MY FRAND is a spotlight series of cool people doing cool things all over the United States and maybe even internationally. I’ll be highlighting friends of mine and their creative and business pursuits because what’s the point of having a blog if you’re not going to lift other people up and share their awesomeness! This week’s spotlight is on my very cool friend Courtney! I met Courtney when we were both working at Cracker Barrel several years ago. Courtney is a trained Chef and she makes the most wonderful things! She’s also really sweet and awesome so I had to share her new business venture and I gotta tell you it’s amazing. But first a little more about Courtney.

She got her start in the kitchen while she was waitressing. “While I was working as a waitress, they would often ask me to help with the grill line or prep work. At first, I was terrified and didn't think I could do it. After some friends persuaded me, I took the leap and found it to be much more fun than waiting tables. It wasn't long before I was a skill trainer for both servers and back of the house cooks,” she told me. After becoming a boss both in the front of house and back of house Courtney found her home on the grill. When we worked together I loved working when she was on the prep line because I ALWAYS knew my salads were gonna be SO LIT and I’d end up with happy customers. Shout out to you Courtney. But restaurant life wasn’t Courtney’s first round in the kitchen. She studied Culinary arts in college too. So basically- SHE’S AN EXPERT in all this food and kitchen.

Courtney’s time in restaurants helped foster her love of cooking, but also teaching. As a skill trainer she worked with all the new grill and prep cooks that came into the restaurant to teach them how to run the line and run it smooth. Once her friends realized she was a master chef, plus super crafty so she could teach both food things and craft things, they started asking “WHAT WITCHCRAFT IS THIS? HOW DO YOU DO THAT?!” Courtney is very nice and she sent full on tutorials and that is how The Crafty Goose was born. The name of her business was a bit of a collaboration with her sister Liz. Originally called Oh Sew Crafty, Courtney realized her skills were way beyond just crafting, and thus the Crafty Goose came to be.


With The Crafty Goose Courtney is offering cooking, food skills, sewing, and other craft project lessons to you for a reasonable price in the comfort of your own home! I got to take a class with Courtney a couple weeks ago and let me tell you it changed my life. If you know me- then you know I bake and I dabble in cooking. I want to get better at cooking, but I need some basic skill help- like how to use knives. I have this reoccurring dream that I’m slicing an onion and accidentally cut my arm off. Yes that is dramatic, but well that’s on of my fears. I signed up for her Knife Skills 101 class and I was off.


The class lasted for about an hour and a half. Courtney not only showed me the logistical parts of slicing fruits, veggies, and other things, she showed me the basic safe knife holds so basically I’m set up to slice ANYTHING, without fear of slicing off a finger. Obviously you have to use basic safety but now I feel comfortable enough cut up a whole pineapple, mango and broccoli head without causing myself injury. In fact since the class i’ve been going crazy in the kitchen mincing things…slowly but surely. Yes that’s right Folks… I’m one step closer to being a real life Princess Tiana.

I loved getting to hang with my sweet friend and learn a life skill all the same time. If you are interested in booking a cooking lesson, craft lesson…or something basic like knife skills (hey we all gotta start somewhere) you can book your lessons at ! You can also follow her on facebook at!