Odessa Piper was born in Pearl City, Hawaii and grew up in Portsmith, New Hampshire. In 1969 she moved to Madison, Wisconsin where she helped her mentor, JoAnna Guthrie, open a restaurant called the Ovens of Brittany. Seven years later, she opened her own restaurant, L’Etoile, where in 2001 she won the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Midwest.
It was just about the same time Great Chefs discovered her and taped her for their Great Chefs of America series. She mentored her Chef de Cuisine, Tory Miller, and in 2005 she retired and sold L’Etoile to Chef Miller.