Holland America Line

Susie’s history starts in her family hometown of Michoacan, Mexico. Over the years, her father brought her mother, two sisters and brother over the border into California. Growing up, her family picked fruit up the West Coast during the summers. Encouraged by a close friend who saw her potential in the kitchen, Susie enrolled in the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco when she was 20. Her father died unexpectedly shortly after. The loss hit Susie hard, but his final words of encouragement to follow her dreams kept her going. When she graduated 10 years ago, Jimenez obtained an internship at The Renaissance Restaurant, an upscale French eatery in Aspen. She has been in Colorado ever since. She married her husband, Doug Lyons, in September of 2006 and worked as a private chef before making it on to season seven of the Next Food Network Star. Since the show, Susie started her catering company, Spice It Up