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A new chef joins family business

More Perreca’s hires SCCC grad, young chefs beef up downtown offerings

Kelly Donnelly, 29, an SCCC culinary arts grad, is the new executive chef at More Perreca’s in Schenectady.

Kelly Donnelly, 29, an SCCC culinary arts grad, is the new executive chef at More Perreca’s in Schenectady.

— “I think things are coming together for Schenectady,” Papa said.

Papa credits the recent downtown growth to a younger crowd moving back into the Electric City.

“I think it stems back to people and especially young people moving back into the cities and thinking about the inner cities as an option for them,” she said. “I own real estate properties and more than ever before I am getting young professional couples that want to live in Schenectady — more so than in the past 15 years.”

Donnelly started her culinary career at 16 years old as dishwasher in a taco shop and eventually attended culinary school at SCCC. After seeing the passion and energy of the owner of Taco Pronto, she wanted to follow in his footsteps and become entrenched in the culinary world.

She doesn’t come from a long line of chefs either, because her family has a history serving in law enforcement and medical professions.

“I just always loved to cook since I was little,” she said. “It was one of those things where I wasn’t very good at school and I found something I really like to do and stuck with it.”

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