Harrison Keevil: Chef, Business Owner

Harrison Keevil
  • Class of: Col ’05
  • Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
  • Current City: Ivy, VA
  • Current Job: Co-owner of Keevil & Keevil Grocery and Kitchen
  • Bodo’s Order: Bacon, egg and American cheese

Tell us about your current life.

I live in Ivy, Virginia with my wife, who I met while we were both working at the Clifton Inn. We have two amazing daughters and are co-owners of Keevil & Keevil Grocery and Kitchen.

Tell us your UVA story.

I wanted to attend UVA for as long as I could remember—I grew up going to basketball and football games with my grandfather, and a lot of my extended family attended UVA. I majored in Western European Affairs and also had a variety of part-time jobs working in kitchens, specifically at Coupe’s for about three years in addition to other odd jobs in the food industry. Getting the chance to work in kitchens like that helped me realize my love of food.

What’s your favorite UVA memory?

I don’t think I have a single major thing, but I never missed a single football game while I was a student. I also have some really fond memories of camping out for basketball tickets (back when that was still allowed!).

What was your journey after leaving UVA?

After graduation, I moved to London and worked as a research assistant for a member of Parliament. My time there happened to line up with the city’s modern food revolution and I really fell in love with the area, so I shifted my focus and decided to attend culinary school in New York after leaving London. When I finished culinary school, I moved to San Francisco and lived there for a while, and then went back to London to work at “The Fat Duck” restaurant. I always had this feeling that I’d be back in Charlottesville someday, so I traveled to remember why I loved this town so much.

What’s it like to be in Charlottesville as an alum?

I’m really, truly proud to represent UVA in the culinary world. It’s a joy and a privilege to raise my kids here in the Charlottesville area and to live that communal, outdoorsy, craft beer-y Charlottesville sort of life.

What makes you say “Wahoowa?”

To me, it’s family. My grandfather is a UVA alumnus, and I also think of that when I consider how much of my family attended the University before me.

What does being a UVA alumnus mean to you?

My diploma—something I’m so proud of—still sits in my childhood room. Being a Wahoo means knowing that I worked hard to get admitted and that I enjoyed my time at the University.

How do you stay connected with UVA and other alumni?

I met other local alums through our kids being in school together. The post-grad connection to the University is important because it reminds you of where you came from, and reminds of you of that feeling of family. It’s still such a strong part of who I am.

What else makes you, you?

My kids, my wife, and cooking—my passion is my job and my job is my passion. I also play a bit of music in my spare time.

Tell us the biggest way in which you hope alumni can help impact UVA.

I think that alumni can best impact the University by being honest and by showing why they love the University—it’s important to let the school know what parts they feel need fixing.