Diana Riley's passion for cooking began while she was in high school when she took an elective in food service. Later, she enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard in 2002 and attended the Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, Virginia, where her military occupational specialty was also in food service. She graduated in the top five of her military occupational specialty class and was awarded Honor Graduated in 2003. She also received the Army Achievement Medal during Annual Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, for her outstanding performance as a food service specialist. In addition, as a volunteer Family Readiness Group Leader, she planned and organized several events to promote the morale and well-being of her fellow soldiers and their families. She is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and received an honorable discharge in 2011.
After nine years, Riley’s military career ended, but not her passion for cooking. She received a degree in culinary arts in 2010 from Nicholls State University’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, where she was mentored by prestigious chefs such as John Folse. She also received her certificate in entrepreneurship training from the Whitman School of Management VWISE in 2011. She is currently earning her degree in culinary business administration, once again at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute. Riley is also a member of the Baton Rouge Chapter American Culinary Federation.