At 27, Destiney Chandler of Birmingham, Alabama, says she is no stranger to the kitchen. Establishing Cooks and Caters in May of 2021, Chandler offers a diverse catering menu and pickup for foods cooked to order. With a menu that is expanded monthly.
I remember always asking my aunt can I help her do things in the kitchen, or even if she needed help, I was eager to. She was and still is a very creative cooker. I spent a lot of time watching her cook in amusement.
Did you have any professional culinary education like school? How did you learn your skills?
I have never gone to any culinary school. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I feel like it has always been in me. Growing up in the south, you’re bound to know how to do a thing or two in the kitchen. I helped out a LOT. I wanted to; it’s what intrigued me. I always asked questions and still do. I was once a shift manager at Wendy’s and I had to learn a lot of the food safety guidelines, which stuck with me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I like things done right.
When did you finally decide to go into business?
I regularly cook for my family, and I want my food to look good and taste even better. I usually post pictures and videos on Facebook almost daily. People would comment saying I needed to start a YouTube or sell plates. Many people had already tasted my cooking, so they were in for the ride. I prayed on it one day. Then, it just dawned on me. I bought supplies and started from there.
What has been the most rewarding thing since going into business?
The most rewarding thing since going into business is my increasing strive and the knowledge I’ve gained.
What would you like anyone to know that is thinking about getting into the culinary business?
There will be challenges! Patience and determination are your best friends. Never give up; stay consistent!
What is something you’d like all of your customers/ clients to know?
Thank you all for trusting and believing in me and my dreams. I promise always to provide you with the highest quality of service!