In September, 2011, Chef M. Kelly Wilson joined the faculty of the Culinary Institute of Charleston as a full-time baking and pastry chef instructor. She earned her Certified Executive Pasty Chef designation from the American Culinary Federation and is the advisor to the Institute's Baking and Pastry Club.
Chef Wilson earned a bachelor of arts degree in history in 1996 and a bachelor of arts degree in English with a focus in creative writing in 1998 from the University of South Carolina, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. In 2002, Wilson graduated summa cum laude with an associate’s degree in baking and pastry from Johnson & Wales University at the Charleston campus. While a student she began her culinary career as a pastry cook at Cypress Lowcountry Grille when the restaurant opened in April 2001. Shortly after graduating, Wilson earned a promotion to pastry chef at Cypress. During her tenure in this position, she developed a pastry philosophy focusing upon interpreting classical desserts using modern, American (especially Southern), and homey flavors. While working at Cypress, she began her teaching career at the Culinary and Wine Institute at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Two years later, she joined the faculty at The Culinary Institute of Charleston as an Adjunct Instructor of baking and pastry.
In 2009, Wilson became a pastry chef at the Kiawah Island Club. She was later promoted to the position of Executive Pastry Chef. Wilson and her desserts have been featured in Food Arts magazine, Charleston magazine, The Post and Courier, The City Paper, The Cypress Cookbook, and Charleston Classic Desserts.