By: Jasmine Yates
Most people dream of making money doing the thing they love, luckily for military brat Desmonae Lloyd that is now her reality. The mother of three, from Raeford, NC always knew that her heart belonged in the kitchen, so she followed her dreams of bringing the love she found in food to others.
In March of 2019 she started her amazing brand ADashofDes Catering Company,(located in Atlanta,GA) with hopes of bringing people closer to the kitchen and her love for food to people hearts. Desmonae is a great example of how following your passion can lead to success. WTP Lifestyle Magazine was honored to speak with Mrs. Lloyd and learn more about her background and her journey to success. Mrs. Lloyd provided some great tips for fellow cooks and entrepreneurs.
What/Who inspired you to become a chef?
I started cooking as a child in the kitchen with my grandmothers (three generations). I knew that I loved it at a young age. I loved to experiment in the kitchen and once I surpassed the teaching of my grandmothers I realized that it had turned into a passion instead of just bonding time with them.
Did you go to culinary school? If not, how did you learn how to create such beautiful dishes?
I did not go to culinary school. My teachers were my grandmothers, at the age of 15, I started cooking for the family. By the time I got to college I was able to train with chefs and take classes to make other cuisines to tighten my skills. Although my major was psychology, I was still able to train with the chefs, which I feel is important because it allows you to keep up with the trends and learn different cooking techniques, etc.
What services does ADashofDes offer?
We offer adult and kids cooking classes, meal preps, private dinners and brunches, weddings, birthday parties and etc. We are located in Atlanta, GA but will travel outside of Georgia if requested.
Do you have a main dish that you love to make?
I love to make anything Italian but my favorite dish is chicken parmesan. I think it’s because I get to make my own sauces and pasta which allows me to expose my skills in the kitchen. My sauces take 6-8 hours depending on which ingredients are going in it, and the slow boiling of the sauce just permeates the house and makes you feel amazing all day.
When it comes to your creativity in the kitchen, is there another chef that inspires you?
Yes I actually have three.
1. Gordon Ramsey; he’s so dope and a lot of things that I try to make on my own are from some of his recipes. 2. Marcus Samuelsson; he is a Swedish black chef. I first discovered him from the show Chopped. He’s so passionate when he speaks about his food; y ou can’t help but be drawn into whatever he is making. 3. Danni Rose; I stumbled upon her on YouTube and just fell in love with her commentary in her videos and I like the easiness of her recipes. She breaks it down for those who are not so proficient in the kitchen.
What would you say the “do’s and don’ts” would be in the kitchen?
The “dos” would be to go out of your element and experiment with new dishes, find your niche and constantly perfect it. The “don’ts” would be to not be afraid if you mess up, that is what the kitchen is for. Do not expect your dishes to look professional all the time and work on mastering the flavor for your food because you can always work on the presentation later. I would rather have a bomb cook that can give me flavors than a pretty plate that doesn’t taste the best.
For someone who doesn’t have that much experience in the kitchen what would be some of the few tips you would give them for their food to be at least edible?
Watch plenty of videos and follow along. We are in the era of social media platforms so use them. Also start small and work your way up to bigger dishes because if not you will overwhelm yourself. The objective is to get something on the plate, everything else can be worked out later. Lastly, have fun; cooking is supposed to be fun don’t take yourself so seriously that you take away from the amazing experience of transforming ingredients from one thing to another.
We appreciate Desmonae for giving us some of her time. If you’re in need of a beautiful dinner, meal plan or just want some amazing food for a special occasion ADashOfDes is your “go-to.” You can find her on Facebook or visit her website. We hope that you’ve not only gained a great chef, but also a sense of not letting obstacles or the problems of the world stop you from chasing your dreams. Remember that your dream job could be something that is a part of your daily routine.
Tune in to Chef Desmonae weekly show : Cooking with Chef Desmonae every Thursday on vipsectiontv.