Private Chef and Caterer at BWC Catering LLC, and Executive Chef of Bites of Style
“One of my mentors told me that being genuinely yourself can bring you to places your resume cannot. Hold on to that light and continue to break societal and professional norms.„
My family inspires me to go above and beyond. They came from Jamaica as farmers and wanted more for their children. I refused to let them down. I also find inspiration from the multitude of cultures that have influenced the island.
Working as an expeditor and front server at a two Michelin starred, fine dining restaurant right after I had worked at Red Lobster was a true culture shock. I had to start from scratch and open myself up to learning a new cuisine, as well as become knowledgeable about viticulture and wine. A whirlwind of constant knowledge took hold as did a new style of service. It helped me appreciate fine dining. I understood what hospitality is because of this restaurant. I will always be grateful for the experience.
The biggest lesson I've learned throughout the years is to continuously learn and evolve. It will never stop. Follow what your soul craves. I came from working front of house for the majority of my restaurant career, but I was yearning to cook so I decided to start a catering company on the side and it has blossomed ever since. I went from being a captain to a caterer and private chef. I'm proud of the fact that I believed in myself and what I wanted to do. With that being said, you can manifest your truest desires as long as you believe that you are capable and worthy.
I knew this profession was for me the moment I put on my first chef's coat in culinary school. It was as if it all made sense. Then everything aligned.
Telling the story of the island of Jamaica and highlighting the Caribbean is what propels me to cook every day. The world needs to know what these islands represent and how we are pushing the envelope in the culinary world.
A healthy work / life balance was difficult at first. This industry can be quite demanding. I was able to find solace in stillness, disconnecting from the hustle and grind that New York is known for and taking a breather when not working — finding new hobbies, taking walks around neighborhoods and falling in love with New York all over again. Once I was able to find that peace, I knew that I couldn't give it up and had to make it a part of my everyday routine.
Studying, researching, and eating are all the ways in which I keep current and evolve.
To motivate and keep the spirits high, I like to keep the vibes. Born into a Jamaican household, it's all about peace and love. Oneness. Keeping a leveled head and sharing lightness with everyone is contagious. Don't get me wrong, we are still serious about our work, however, we can still nurture that togetherness and keep the spirits high in appreciation for one another and allowing everyone to utilize their strengths. Trust is the most important trait to have. Unity brings an environment of willingness to be open. When we are open, we are able to receive, whether it be knowledge or constructive criticisms.
The one thing I can't live without in order to do my job is a fork. Had I not been introduced from so young to what amazing food is all about, I wouldn't be in this industry. I wouldn't grasp the concept of hospitality, nor would I have been so passionate in wanting others to experience what I have.
My family's recipe book is vital to who I am. As far as publications, my go-to when I need the fundamentals are the professional cooking books I received my first year in culinary arts school.
Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.
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