Lulu Powers thought she'd move to Los Angeles and become a writer, the person who wrote the words for film and television actors.
Instead, she became the cook who made the meals for the stars.
Actually, her dreams of writing did materialize. Just in a different form. Her first cookbook, "Food to Flowers," is an A-Z guide to entertaining. It comes from years of experience serving as a private chef and caterer for Hollywood celebrities.
Powers will speak and sign copies of her book at the Savannah Book Festival at noon Saturday.
"People would always ask me for recipes," she said. "I just put it all together, everything I know about cooking and entertaining."
In a way, perhaps she was destined to become a cook. Her house growing up in Connecticut become a hub for dinner parties. Her mother had little training, but planned parties for up to 600 people.
Powers grew up to host lavish parties of her own, and once she moved to California, she got more and more requests to cater. She took catering gigs to bide time until she made it in Hollywood.
"I just catered to get by," she said. "I needed to work and it kind of grew from there."
One celebrity gig led to another, and she quickly became a chef to the stars. She's cooked for Will Smith, Madonna, Bill Clinton and some stars whose names she can't even say. Confidentiality agreements bar her from saying much about the stars, in fact.
"That's Hollywood," she said.
After spending years cooking and entertaining, she realized she had enough for a cookbook. When she got down to writing she realized that she'd have to almost start from scratch. She knew most of her recipes by memory.
"I never wrote any recipes. I had to go back and make things," she said. "I'm a fly by the seat of your pants cook. You give me an open refrigerator, and I can come up with a meal."
Her husband serves both as her principal taste tester and food photographer. A professional photographer himself, he shot all the food for the book. And he doesn't mind serving as a bit of a critic, as well.
"He likes to cook, too," she said. "He'll try something of mine and say something like, 'It could use a little more ... ' But it's funny. Half the time, he's right."