Mary Martha Greene is an award-winning cook. (Okay, so the award was received in the ninth grade for baking napoleons for State Foreign Language Day, but it was first place and she still has the trophy!)
After this stunning victory, she dreamed of a culinary, or at least a creative, career. Her aspirations of following in the footsteps of a family friend and running the National Chicken Cooking Contest were waylaid by her family court judge father during her freshman year of college. When she returned home for Christmas break, he informed her that she’d be reporting
for duty as a page at the State House in January. Mary spent the next forty-years with a career in government relations and politics, including serving on the staff of Governor Richard W. Riley, lobbying, political action, business development, and consulting.
After regrouping, Mary shared her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining to aid her as she made friends and influenced people in the legislative, political, and fundraising arenas. She’s also used her skills to help her clients with business development, including running hospitality suites at conferences, sporting events, and a skybox on the eighteenth green for the PGA Heritage Golf Tournament held on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Mary also teaches baking skills to seventeen- to twenty-five-year-old homeless and at-risk youth every week at the Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc. (MIRCI) Youth Drop- In Center in Columbia, South Carolina. One of her pupils told her one day that she was like a “culinary Mary Poppins,” in that she always pops in to bake with them and brings along a large bag from which she pulls all the ingredients and tools necessary to make whatever they are creating that week. Along with teaching them baking skills, she also helps them learn that sometimes the most important thing you can do for someone is to show up when you say you will and to give them your undivided attention.
Mary is a born-and-reared, die-hard Gamecock fan who in fact watches and cares about the game. She also understands the importance of preparing a fabulous tailgate. She loves cooking, entertaining, history, “junk-tiquing,” and traveling. She was a caregiver to her grandmother, mother, aunts, and other family members for much of her adult life, and learned that the best way to get through caregiving is to find the humor in it.
Mary is known as “Aunt Mae-Mae” to about twenty children she loves as her own—none of whom she has birthed, must discipline, or send to college. She excels in spoiling them and returning them to their parents. She currently serves as house staff to her extremely spoiled cat Queenie, who chose Mary by following the smell of barbeque to her kitchen door. She divides her time between Beaufort, South Carolina and the state capital Columbia.
The Cheese Biscuit Queen Tells All cookbook published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2021, is filled with recipes passed down from her family's heritage, as well as other selections surrounded in southern history.
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