Chef Courtney Billen
Surrounded by East Texas farm fresh produce and raised by an avid hunting family, Chef Courtney Billen developed a passion for cooking and food at an early age.
After years of experience, leaving the commercial kitchen and taking her skills and knowledge into the private sector was her desire. Chef Courtney broadened her self-studies to expand her knowledge of global cuisine with a focus on Baja and Latin fare and began entertaining and catering for friends, special events, locals and tourists.
In 2014 Chef Courtney relocated inland to Temecula, CA and launched the Fusion Table. Specializing in Chef Services, On-Site Catering and Craft Bar Services, she built a steady clientele of locals and tourists supporting her passion and crafts. Professional growth continued as Chef Courtney developed customized menus and events for clients focused on their vision to showcase their culture, background or themed special occasion. The demand for requested services naturally created a need for additional assets. Chef Courtney began hiring and developing a small staff of kitchen assistants, servers, stylists and mixologist. With her team and network, Chef Courtney became a premier vendor for clients at vacation homes, private residences, wineries and event venues throughout Temecula Valley Wine Country.
In January of 2018, her family came back to Texas and chose Granbury as their new home. The Fusion Table has been servicing the Granbury area since their return and Chef Courtney is looking forward to sharing her experiences, new concepts and fresh, artisan food with her community in The Fusion Table’s new home at the Historic Granbury Square at 206 Pearl Street.
Emily “EM” Harris
Emily Harris was born into a “foodie” family on the coastal town of Santa Cruz, in Northern California. The oldest of four girls— one can imagine how their mom, who loved to cook, dreamed of each daughter leaving home with the same love for food and kitchen skills. According to her mother, Emily seemed to struggle with boiling water for the mac and cheese! Emily fondly remembers how she and her sisters would pick and relish the sumptuous heirloom tomatoes their father used to plant and purvey in Sonoma, Ca.
Growing up in a culinary mecca like the Napa Valley, exposure to incredible restaurants and vineyards, seemed to only plant seeds that would somehow grow after a family transplant to Texas. Marrying young and being blessed with two children, somehow an embryonic talent within Emily began to germinate. Her mother remembers how she saw a “Cook’s” magazine on her coffee table and was amazed at how Emily devoured each issue.
Several years later, after it was evident that Emily had inherited some sort of culinary gene (like her grandpa Chuck, who was transformed by the cookbook, Joy of Cooking by Julia Childs) her parents urged her to consider training at the Fort Worth Culinary Institute. It didn’t seem feasible to Emily at the time; self-education seemed the less expensive route.
There is something to say about raw talent, hours of YouTube videos, acquiring a myriad of books, catering and cooking with passion for friends and family! Emily was recommended to Chef Courtney for her bartending and restaurant experience for her events. The casual interview allowed Chef Courtney to see that Emily was the protégé she was looking for! Emily and Courtney have teamed together for many events, allowing the seed to grow and blossom.
Emily is self taught and has a passion to teach people to enjoy food as much as she does. Emily is passionate about intuition based cooking. She often describes it as, combining a keen sense of ingredients and intuitively manipulating the tools and elements, to prepare food that everyone will enjoy. Basic old school technique and tradition is very important to Emily, but she isn’t afraid to veer outside of the lines and push the envelope in the kitchen. She says you have to “roll with the punches”, and to ultimately enjoy every moment of preparing a meal and eating it.