“I am from Bay Minette. Cooking started years ago when I helped my stepmom in the kitchen. My first job was cooking at Sonic when I was 15. I worked in the deli at Walmart in Daphne for many years. I published a cookbook in March. I started writing the book in 2007, but I got busy with work and school. I went back to it a couple of years ago and finished it. My friends always called and asked for recipes so I put them in a book. I published it in March for my birthday. It was a gift to myself.
Last year was my first time to do the Gumbo Championship and I got to work out my recipe out for the cookbook. It feels good to be out here watching people eat my food. I want all feedback, good or bad, because I want to know the truth. I am my biggest critic. I want to start a catering business and I am trying to find a kitchen. My mom passed away when I was four years old. If she was here now she would be so proud. I get help from my dad, aunt, and my other moms who stepped in to support and push me. The support has been there since day one. Sometimes I stop and think ‘you are really doing this.’ One day I want to do cooking classes, including ones for healthier meals. The name ‘Keeping it Kaliente’ is from the spice. My dad and I both love it.”