Le Bon Appetit Cafe at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital
John Paul Carpenter is a Southern native, though his cooking style incorporates influences from his mother and grandmother’s Midwestern roots.
Carpenter, who grew up in Atlanta, GA, used food to overcome personal health challenges and his interest in the connection between food and well-being led him on a path to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
Carpenter’s culinary background includes extensive education in the field of nutrition. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition. He then went on to graduate school at Virginia Tech to complete his master’s in Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise. Following his master’s, Carpenter completed post graduate training at the University of Virginia.
The next several years were spent traveling the southeast, working with hospitals to improve the health of their guests while also improving the overall quality of food served.
In 2007 Carpenter arrived in Memphis, working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital before landing at Le Bonheur in 2008. Carpenter uses his love for food and nutrition to delight all Le Bonheur’s guests, whether they be small or tall. His southern and mid-western roots help drive his culinary creativity, along with his openness to experiment with new cooking techniques and mission to debunk the stereotype of “hospital food.” Carpenter’s drive for excellence is rooted in the joint calling of all who work at Le Bonheur: to offer hope and healing to sick or injured children. Carpenter has had the pleasure to cook for pageant queens, international royalty and for the many generous donors of Le Bonheur.
When Carpenter is not at Le Bonheur, you can find him in the gym coaching youth basketball games, exercising, hunting, supporting the Memphis Grizzlies or hanging out at the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid. He embraces many of the Mid-South’s offerings with his wife Jamie and their two children, Luke and Adalynn.