One Such Outstanding Woman is Chef Ta-Ta, Founder/CEO. Thanks so much to Chef Ta-Ta for joining us for Season 2 of Onward & Upward with Leslie E. Royal, brought to you by Ashro.
Watch S2:E6: The Life-Giving Elements of Healthy Cuisine now:
What Does Onward & Upward Mean to You?
My love for food and cooking started long before the idea of making a career out of it. My Grandma Rose taught us well, so I knew how to cook before entering culinary school. Although I graduated from one of the top culinary schools in the south, Louisiana Culinary Institute, I wasn’t originally accepted. Actually, the admin Mrs. Tiffany, who also blessed me with the name “The Dopest Chef”, signed my acceptance letter when others in the room thought I’d fail and not be able to complete the full program.
Needless to say, I was one of about five faces graduating from my class on our designated graduation day. She is the first “brick of belief” in how I’ve gotten to where I am today. I always reflect back to that moment when I was advancing, growing, facing adversity, or just plain lacking confidence. It’s almost like a rebirth memory. That’s the day The Dopest Chef was born. So, no matter how many no’s, that yes is inevitable.
Since beginning my career, it’s taken a lot more of continuing self-education, more so in the direction of food medical science and nutrition and its effects on our bodies. My studies and research have led me here, writing my own curriculum and building a plant based culinary school, and products like Sea Moss ice cream and alkaline plant based meats. It’s challenging, but it’s more than worth it. It’s time to teach these future generations the truth about food.
In building my career, there have been things in my personal life that I let effect my business life and in return my business paid the price. I used to allow opinions of others to overshadow my greatness, my creativity, my true self, and my love for food. Not even realizing I’d gotten to place where food was no longer something I could do through any mood. So, I thought… admitting depression was not an easy thing to do for me, but it taught me so much in doing so.
Learning how to overcome trauma and depression is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I say this because there’s no “poof be gone” solution. It’s an everyday focus and belief in something greater than myself as well as Something IN MYSELF. I’ve learned to enjoy the value of my everyday successes and small accomplishments. Doing this helps me stay grounded to the progresses I’m making and allowing myself to actually live in the journey I’m building my career off of. It promotes self-love, joy, appreciation, and confidence. That alone makes my dreams attainable.
I specialize in plant based cuisine, but I’m not just a chef. I’m an educator and the student. I’m a knowledge chaser, for the betterment of my client’s food experiences. I am The Dopest Chef but the Food Swingz extension of my brand emphasizes elevation of not just your moods but health as well. When people come to me, it’s because I’m the Guru at what I do. I’m not doing this just for the money or to sell people a dream. They’ve been getting that most their lives. I’m here to impart truth and excitement about knowing food and how to heal and live better from it.
I have knowledge so it’s only right. I look at it like this, those who won’t or don’t come are those who aren’t ready for the truth about the foods we consume. So, competition doesn’t exist when you’re doing this for the right reasons. I’m not looking to outdo anyone. I’m looking to enhance everyone and their habits. With that mind frame I guess it’s me who’s creating the competition.
My best piece of advice would be focus and believe in yourself. Doing this allows you to not accept “No” as the final answer. You can push beyond the belief of others and rise through the faith in you. You have an understanding of what it takes to overcome and win through your small successes. Because those small successes add up to the bigger ones. Failures are only the lessons you needed to learn in order to be able to handle success.
You are great and beyond capable of amazing things. No matter who sees it at this moment, the next moment could very well change your life. Simply put, success is anything that makes you feel joyful. It’s the moments of pure bliss. It’s the love you get out of what you put in. This is what success means to me.
I’m continuously updating and writing my curriculum and pushing to open up the online version of the Plant Based Culinary Institute by September 2021. Along with that, I have a few products that will be available this coming spring. My Chef Collection line, Dope By Design, provides chef apparel with our entrepreneurs and bosses in mind. Then of course there’s Food Swingz For Every Body and Sea Moss Ice Cream. The latter is an all alkaline, dairy free ice cream with the intended purpose for healing.
There are several projects on the horizon. But mum’s the word because we’re still in the very beginning stages of building. But you can always engage in my Amuse Bouche Supper Club. This is exclusively plant based and we serve 7 to 16 elegant course dinner experiences. There’s always something fantastic brewing over here under TheDopestChef.Co umbrella. Stay connected with me to enjoy the fruits of life. Do so by visiting me at www.TheDopestChef.Co.
My social media handles are: @TheDopestChef @PlantBasedCulinaryInstitute, @DopeByDesign.Co, @AmuseBoucheSupperClub, @FoodSwingz , @EyeSeaCream
Ashro Brand Ambassador Leslie E. Royal is also an author, international freelance writer, product review expert, and global travel journalist. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including: Medium, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, FORTUNE.com, AAA Southern Traveler, Upscale, Upscale Living, and The Ashro Blog. She is the creator of the Leslie’s Lane consumer information blog and author of two books.