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Cakes & High Heels | ‘In The Kitchen With @MissAngelaDavis, @CarnalDish & @JourdanChataun’ Interview by @DreaOnassis| #SoPhi

by • April 5, 2013 • Cakes & High HeelsComments (0)1065

Hi loves, Cakes & High Heels has a very special treat for you all! In the kitchen with me I have three of the hottest female foodies on twitter: Reesha of CarnalDish.com, Angela Davis of KitchenistaDiaries.com.com, and Chef Jourdan-Cha’Taun! As Biggie says, “relax and take notes…”

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Welcome to my kitchen ladies, *turns on mixer and pours a glass of wine* I’m so glad to have you! Let’s jump right in, tell me how and when did you develop a passion for cooking?

AngelaDavisAngela Davis: As a kid I remember being fascinated by a home economics class we took in middle school, and around the same time I’d started to help out preparing dinners at home. I wouldn’t say I knew it was my passion until around the time I left college though. That’s when I really started to get into the cooking shows on television and experimenting in the kitchen.

 

ChefJourdanJourdan-Cha’Taun: Cooking in the kitchen with my grandma on my mother’s side, are some of my earliest and most cherished memories. The kitchen was a safe haven for me as a child. It’s funny when you’re young you don’t really know what passion means. I didn’t realize I was passionate about cooking until I decided to study Culinary Arts at Seattle Central Culinary Academy in Seattle Washington. I was 21 when I decided to make cooking my career. But all throughout my childhood and teenage years you could find me in someone’s kitchen cooking up. I’m so thankful to my grandma for taking the time to show me how to bake pies, cakes and cookies from scratch {Editor’s note: I started out this way, but with my mom, “from scratch or nothing!}. That’s where my culinary career began… 3 years old standing on a stool getting schooled by my granny.

ReshaCarnal Dish: I started cooking when I was 6 years old. My first dish was cornbread. My mom was in the kitchen with me, basically telling me what to do, but she let me do it all by myself and it came out so good, she took it to work to share with her coworkers. Now, I didn’t cook much after that because I was too busy enjoying being a kid in the 80’s lol, but when I became a teenager, I once again realized how much I loved being in the kitchen. Those were the years I really “learned” how to do stuff. I messed a LOT of stuff up. The first time I fried chicken, I was like 14, and nobody was around to tell me how to do it. I put the oil on high, and threw the chicken in with no concept of proper temperatures or anything. It was a disaster… I remember trying to cook a Father’s Day breakfast for my dad at that same age, and the biscuits I made were complete hockey pucks, and my grits were equally as hard. Woo chile, I was a hot mess in the kitchen when I was just learning lol. But, with persistence, and my stubborn inability to give up, I kept going and kept learning, and now? My mom says I cook better than her. I’ve learned the science of cooking, and how to make the best version of just about everything, and I really enjoy doing it. Cooking makes me happy because I get to be creative and expressive, and then eat a delicious bounty of if it afterward. There’s no greater reward. I love to cook because I love to eat lol. I also enjoy sex, and a good meal topped off with an amazing dessert will make you and your man wanna do some thaaaaaaangs. It’s all related.

Chef Jourdan-Cha’Taun, you’ve been featured in Essence Magazine, Reesha people wait online to purchase your treats like a Saturday Jordan release, and Angela, you’ve been nominated for a Shorty Award for your blog. People (myself-included) flock to your sites for recipes… What is it that sets you apart?

JT: Well I’m flattered to be in this group without having a blog. I think most people that follow me on twitter or check for my career moves are doing so because of my resume. Having worked for Puffy, Kevin Liles, Trey Songz, and Floyd Mayweather ect has brought attention my way. It is amazing to look back on my life and see journals when I wrote about dreaming of moving to NYC and becoming a celebrity’s personal chef…. Having not known a single person, or how I was going to accomplish my goal and making $7.48 an hr when I first got to NYC… Crazy to see how far I’ve come. When they say self-made, that’s where you’ll find me. The island of Manhattan will chew you up and spit you out before she blesses you. I never gave up, and the most high knows how many times I thought about it… just quitting and going back to Seattle. I’ve never been afraid to jump off cliffs in life. I’d say that I am an inspiration to others… Coming from what I did as a child…. And attaining my dreams without sacrificing my morals and values as a woman is what sets me apart.

AD: Creativity primarily, and the energy created from interacting with the people on my timeline. When I started my blog it was an effort to create healthy meals on a budget, but with the appeal of gourmet restaurant style dishes. A lot of people relate to that especially in this economy. I love using fresh herbs and spices to take the flavors in my dishes to another level. I try to give people something different than they are used to cooking at home, at the same time focusing on helping newer cooks understand proper techniques.

CD: I truly have NO idea. I’m surprised every single time I post treats for sale how quickly they sell out. Like, it’s amazing. I am truly appreciative of it, because what people don’t realize is that this is just something for me to try out until I get a food truck. My immediate goal was to start an LLC, get certified, and just sell a few things online, so that people can at least try my food since they always ask. My next goal is to get a food truck, so I can drive around Atlanta and feed people actual hot meals — that’s why I moved here. I am SO excited about that, it’s what I’d rather do right now. My long-term goal is to get my own restaurant. A lot of people have tried many of my recipes on their own, and they’ve turned out amazingly well, so that may be why they trust my treats will be just as delicious. I just feel really bad when people tell me they’ve been waiting and waiting and still can’t get the brownies they’ve been hearing about, but because I’m running the business by myself (with the help of my boyfriend), it’s hard to accommodate everyone at once, but I try. I’m just happy that so many people are happy with our sweets.

Ok ladies can we talk about struggle plates? Why do we see so many online? As a baker, I stand by “from scratch or nothing,” quality ingredients, presentation. What simple tips can you give to build confidence in the kitchen?

CD: I can’t teach passion, it’s something you either have or don’t, but LOVE what you’re cooking. Don’t be intimidated. Nobody is doing something in the kitchen that the rest of us cannot learn to do. I wasn’t formally trained, nor did I go to culinary school, but with passion I learned how on my own. I would take the modern techniques I’ve learned and apply them to old family recipes, and make them that much better. I’m always learning new tips, new techniques, how to cook with new ingredients. It’s all about expanding your palate. Go to a farmers market and buy a new cheese you’ve never tried, or a new spice, something! Play around with food, you’ll never know what you like or don’t like if you don’t try. Learn how to use different herbs and spices, so you can develop a taste for flavor. You’ll be able to throw together delicious flavor and texture components the more you cook with different seasonings. Don’t be lazy, either. Once you bake a successful cake from scratch, not only do you realize how easy it truly is, but you won’t want that boxed stuff anymore {Editor’s note: read my piece “Death to Betty Crocker” to understand where we’re coming from}. Once you make your own cheese sauce for macaroni, you will realize just how much wack mac and cheese you’ve had all your life. My last tip is to invest in good-quality cookware. Cooking with cheap pots and pans ain’t the move. Oh, one more tip…stop using the flash on your phone’s camera to take pics. They never look good. Ever. Just stop it. Use natural lighting and don’t just throw everything on the plate and take a pic. When people have to ask “What IS that??”, then you’ve missed the damn mark lol.

AD: Let me just say that the struggle plates (and I’m going to add struggle YouTube cooking demos in the mix too) are getting ridiculous. I’m astonished that so many people are really eating like that, because there’s no excuse at this point. Way too many cooking channels, magazines, blogs etc. for you to not make a little bit of effort to learn how to cook better for yourself. I chalk it up to laziness, not being taught at home and just plain ignorance. As far as tips, keep it simple as you develop your skill set. Find some easy to follow recipes – many blogs like my own feature step by step photos – and learn the basics. From there you’ll find ways to switch up the seasoning or techniques to start developing your own style. There’s never anything wrong with reaching out to somebody you know can cook well and asking them to help you out preparing a few meals too.

JT: I don’t really participate in the “struggle plate” saga. Most of the things I see, I can’t believe are real. I think a lot of them are playing for attention lol. With Google and the power of the Internet and hello the Food Network it hard to not come up with decent plates. My suggestion is always to play around in the kitchen and experiment with foods, ingredients, and techniques you’re not familiar with. That’s the best way to learn through trial and error. Taking the stress out and having fun is the key.

If you could only fix one meal for the rest you your life, what would it be?

CD: OMG I can’t answer this. The very thought is giving me a panic attack!! Can my meal include a KRIT burger, some tacos, shrimp and grits, turkey wings, mac and cheese, greens, stuffed french toast, lamb kabobs and pizza all on the same plate? Cuz…

JT: I would never want to cook the same thing for the rest of my life. Being able to look at ingredients and create is the best part of cooking for me. For that client I made grass Fed Braised Beef Ribs w/Rosemary Merlot BBQ Sauce Whipped Yams, Smoked Turkey Green Beans. All organic everything. For each client I create custom meals tailored to their tastes. Cooking the same thing hurts my heart, but I wanted to at least put my food style out there.

AD: That’s tough! I’m gonna take this literally to mean I can still eat everything else but as far as cooking one thing forever…it would have to be stir fried shrimp noodles. There’s something therapeutic in all that slicing and dicing, and the quick pace of stir frying is exciting. I love dishes with a ton of different colors and textures going on, it’s always a beautiful end result.

Our segment is called Cakes High Heels… in your own words break it down for those who don’t recognize the benefits of a woman with good cooking skills and a bad shoe game.

AD: Come on, that’s a win-win situation. A woman who has a fierce style of her own and can get down in the kitchen? She’s a force to be reckoned with…don’t sleep!

CD: The benefit of a sexy, confident woman who can actually cook and do it in heels, is a happy man at home. There’s nobody on earth I love cooking for more than my man. He’s happy as hell, and his belly is always full. When you see women who strut their shit down the street, wearing the sexiest heels, you don’t always assume they can cook. There’s a stigma that pretty or stylish women can’t cook, but I’m here to prove them wrong. I share my recipes with everyone because I want more women to feel confident in the kitchen, cook sexy meals for their significant others (or themselves), and leave them with the feeling of “Wow, I actually made that and it was delicious”. I want them to feel as sexy as I do in the kitchen. Cook him a nice meal and watch him devour YOU, with your heels in the air ;) *sips tea*

JT: Well I’m known for being in the kitchen with Jordan’s on so I don’t really fit the high heel mold. Having confidence is a crucial part of success, so no matter what you have you wear it with your head held high!

Ok ladies to conclude, how can our readers contact you?

JT: My twitter and IG are both @JourdanChaTaun

AD: Twitter: @MissAngelaDavis IG: thekitchenista Blog: www.kitchenistadiaries.com

CD: Recipes: carnaldish.com, treats: order.carnaldish.com, IG: carnaldish, FB: facebook.com/carnaldish, Twitter: @CarnalDish

Please follow these lovely ladies, and as always, I urge you to venture through the Cakes & High Heels section for more dessert ideas & be as adventurous in the kitchen as your heart desires! Feel free to tweet us (@Honeecakesbkry) anytime with your baking questions, in the name of all things “from scratch,” your resident SoPhi baker is here to help! Also, for all your baking needs, check out www.HoneecakesBakery.com!

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