Finding PURPOSE &
Close your eyes. Think about your favorite meal being prepared by your favorite person. Can you smell the aromas as they fill your nostrils? Can you taste the robust flavors on your tongue? Can you recall this memory?
Well, for me, this is a memory I create for my family every night. But, it took many years to make this our reality. After being in the retail banking industry for 14 years, I returned to school to follow my passion of cooking to become a chef. It was no surprise that this career path found me. I come from a household that always ensured our bellies and hearts were full. My grandmother had an open-door policy - we didn’t even lock our front door, so that people would know they were always welcomed. I was the little girl sitting in the kitchen, watching everything my grandmother and parents cooked and always wanted to help.
When I was 12 years old, my dad started a catering company, and we ran it as a family. By the time I was nineteen, when he decided to focus on desserts, I was his right-hand. He has been my number one supporter in this journey. He pushes my creativity, and he reminds me how much I love to serve people through food. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without this industry or him. Whenever I find myself stressed, I just go to the kitchen and cook - everything makes sense after about 10 minutes. Honestly, pursuing my degree was a 20-year challenge. I started, I stopped, I worked, I became a mother, a wife, a community activist - but nothing fulfilled me until now.
I am Chef Ji’Nae Brown-Wilbon and my motto is: Crave Food, but Feed your Soul.