Elle Russ chats with Courtney Contos, a chef, wellness expert, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, and speaker. Courtney was raised and mentored in downtown Chicago under the expertise of her acclaimed restauranteur father, Bill Contos. He was the owner of Chez Paul - an ultra-elegant French restaurant and known in popular culture as the fancy restaurant from the iconic classic films Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Blue Brothers. Chez Paul is where her love of food and appreciation for quality was born.
Courtney carried on her father’s vision by working in restaurants and cooking schools until ultimately attaining my degree in culinary arts from Kendall Culinary School in Chicago. I opened Chef Contos Kitchen & Store in Vermont, which was featured by Food & Wine Magazine as one of the best cooking schools in the world - focused on culinary education and chef-curated retail.
Amidst her successes, she struggled and suffered for 12 years with chronic pain due to a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Her rheumatologist declared on numerous occasions that her condition would never change and that she would be wheelchair-bound for the rest of her life. Unwilling to accept this fate, she persevered to find a solution, and in 2018 - along with her Functional Medicine doctor, she set out to overcome her autoimmune disease. After decades of systemic inflammation, multiple health issues, surgeries, and over six years of severe foot pain, she now takes pain-free steps with immense gratitude for having zero RA markers. Boom!
Now Courtney supports others on through their life transformations in her virtual health consulting business. Having been so positively impacted by her healing journey - she merged her rich experience as a culinary leader and educator with overcoming autoimmune disease by becoming a certified Functional Medicine Wellness Coach. her mission is to help others transform their health by guiding people in the right direction when they find themselves stuck without wellness support.