Owner & Executive Chef
My passion for cooking started as a child in elementary school, watching my parents who are amazing cooks create magic in the kitchen daily. My parents are Jamaican, so I was exposed to Caribbean cuisine at an early age and fell in love with it. I was especially excited for weekends growing up, because I knew there would be a feast after all the long labor in the kitchen, which started early in the mornings. There’s nothing like a home cooked meal made with so much love and passion and you were sure to taste it in every item made. I would stand in the kitchen as meals were being prepared and ask a lot of questions. My questions ranged from what seasoning works best with what meats and best methods to cook certain items. You can say I’ve always been intrigued and inquisitive with flavor profiling since an early age. I’ve learned a lot about cooking and observed the love you should put in your food from my parents, which is my secret ingredient I use until this day with every meal I prepare for family and friends.
I attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2008 and studied Hospitality & Tourism Management. While attending the university I met people who became my family all from the love for food and creating an experience with each bite. I observed how food brought people from all walks of life together and how creative we could be in the kitchen in my culinary courses. I was also able to learn the different areas of the industry, which helped me to navigate in the direction of my passion and make it my career.
I knew I had what it took to be a great leader and would make for a great manager as well in the food industry. College will not fully prepare you for the work force, but rather experiences in the field will help you to find out you’re true calling. I’ve gained seven plus years of experience from entry level customer service to mid-level management over the years. I then realized the demand to work in the hospitality industry could be overwhelming and miss valuable moments with the ones you love.
I decided to create my own catering company in June 2016, while working as a Food ServicenManager at a senior living home. I always wanted to open my own restaurant, but I learned in college that overhead costs can be a strain financially and would require a lot to get started. I worked fifty-hour work weeks and started to not enjoy the line of work I was doing daily. I didn’t believe you should have to sacrifice your evenings, weekends, and holidays to make a career in the hospitality industry. I don’t believe cooks should spend their career forced to prepare other chef’s recipes, use subpar ingredients or work in high pressure environments that prevent you from leaving your work at the workplace. I knew my passion was cooking and I was not utilizing to my full capacity. Meals cooked with love, passion, and soul brought me a great deal of joy. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial sprit and understood that a career and life was far more than a paycheck. I was told when you love what you do it will never feel like a job. I finally understood what that statement meant when I pursued my true passion and started Hella Beanz Catering Company, which I could be proud of. I also understood there would be long hours and endless errands to run to get it started. I knew I needed to utilize the same energy and diligence I was using to help advance companies in Food Service to build my own company to pass down to my family when that day comes.
During that time, I identified a need to create my own jerk sauce after catering my first lunch event in 2016. I needed the best flavored jerk sauce to create my delicious Jerk Chicken meal. After shopping I noticed the jerk sauce’s I was using were too salty and did not have the flavor I was searching for. I spoke to my mom and I told her I wanted to make my own jerk sauce and she advised me in some key ingredients needed to do so. I did just that! I blended all fresh ingredients and herbs, with a hint of sweetness made for a refreshing jerk sauce nothing like I’ve tasted before. It amazed my family and friends I had try it and after the positive feedback I knew I need to share this jerk sauce with everyone I could. I’m a proud bottler of my homemade jerk sauce called Hella Fire Jerk Sauce and Hella Fire Green Jerk Sauce. I’m excited to see how big my sauce will be as I grow and expand over the years to come. Everything I do is with pure love and I’m sure if you had the opportunity to allow me to Excite You Budz you could attest to that statement, which is the motto for my catering company. Every meal I create takes your taste buds on a journey unlike no other and when your done it keeps you wanting for more!