Kelley Cleary Coffeen grew up along the southern border of the United States and developed a love for Mexican food and the unique culture of the southwest. She has a passion for tacos and Mexican flavors. She developed a love for cooking at the age of 15 when she started baking a peanut butter brownie recipe she found in Seventeen Magazine. It became a favorite with all of her neighbors, giving Kelley the great satisfaction of pleasing others with food. She has been cooking ever since. She self-published her first cookbook, Great College Cookbook of the Southwest in 1993 and landed a guest appearance on Good Morning America on ABC.
In 1995, Kelley started hosting Kelley’s Kitchen, a weekly cooking segment, on KTSM/NBC in El Paso, Texas. The viewership stretched across west Texas and southern New Mexico and across the southern border into Mexico. Her on-air popularity led to the publication of two more books, Fiesta Mexicali (Northland Publishing, 2002) and Simply 7 (Northland Publishing, 2003). 200 Easy Mexican Recipes published in April 2013. People enjoy the way Kelley cooks because she cooks the way North Americans want to cook…simple, economical, stress-free, and FUN!
Kelley is a master at collaborating with others for a common goal. She has partnered with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture as one of their “Chile Ambassadors,” promoting New Mexico’s agricultural crops to the general public and food corporations. She has assisted in the development of healthy, ethnic recipes for diabetics with the Joslen Center at Harvard Medical School and New Mexico State University. Kelley has been with the Lisa Ekus Group since 2001.
As a hands-on restaurateur Kelley enjoyed working with her staff and serving the general public. She is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership at New Mexico State University and writing another cookbook. She resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico with her family.