CHEF NIKKI'S STORY
I'm often asked how and why I started SerAsh Cuisine, and to answer the question, I would have to tell you my story.
From as early as 9, I always saw my mother cooking, and the taste always excited me. The entire process fascinated me, from the prep to the cooking, to the taste. I recall my first time at age 11 when I decided to experiment. My dear mother was late returning from work, and I was hungry. There were a few food items available, so I grabbed two cheese pans, a few ground provisions and a small piece of chicken. Using all I learned from watching my mother, I prepared the items, seasoned them with love and made a wood fire between 4 stones, a piece of mesh and 2 pieces of iron. Coincidentally while I was cooking, my mother's sisters came to visit from the country. I knew my Mother and Aunt to be women of God, so when my aunt arrived tired and exhausted, I offered her some of the food I made, and as soon as she tasted it, she prophesied over my life that one day I would be a great cook. That compliment encouraged me to continue cooking to this day, something I enjoy so much.
I continued cooking and often combined resources with my little friends in my neighborhood to buy supplies and cook for them. They were also excited and in awe of my cooking skills. I recall cooking for my friend's birthdays, mostly Curry Chicken back and white rice, as it was quickly acquired and affordable. Our birthday cake was a Tutti Fruity bun with a matchstick for the candle.
At age 12, I started cooking for my family, endorsed by my Aunt's high praises. My mother started leaving money for me to buy items to cook for the family, and with the blessings from God, we always had enough for passersby. During this time, I also started attending High School. Eventually, I enrolled in Home Economics with a focus on Food and Nutrition, where I added additional skills to perfect my craft. Some of these included baking, pastry, various dishes, etc. My friends would always stay close on the days when there was a practical because it was always sure that they would get a sample of what we made in class.
In my early 20s, I recall attending the yearly Kite Festival at Drax Hall in St Ann, Jamaica, where there were always multiple vending stalls selling all types of food. I was sure I could do the same and set my mind to preparing for next year's event. The following year I attended a meeting and entered the lottery they organized for the drawing of who would get the stalls. I was blessed to be one of the winners and went to work getting my team together. On the event day it was all hands-on deck as news of our stall spread with the crowd growing. We were sold out before long, leaving a few disappointed patrons. I was convinced this was my passion. I then registered for the Emancipation Day Event at Seville Great House in St Ann, Jamaica. I recall a prominent lady coming to sample my Potato Pudding with reluctance asking if I could bake and that the pudding had better be good. A few minutes later, she stormed back to my stall, demanding I sell her the rest of the pudding as it was the best she had ever had.
I continued honing my skills over the next few years, and then the opportunity arose to migrate to the United States; I took it and ran with it, never leaving behind my passion. I started in the medical field, where a few coworkers began sharing their homemade meals. Once, it was my turn. The excitement started with a few, knowing I was a born chef. Many of my coworkers and friends started asking me to cook more often and encouraging me to start my own business. God saw fit to bless me with a few destiny helpers in my life, and subsequently, SerAsh Cuisine was born, named after my two beautiful daughters. It started from humble beginnings but soon grew with us delivering to multiple locations mostly off word of mouth.
My dream is to open a restaurant and own a food truck where I would be able to service my clientele with more love and efficiency. I am praying this story will manifest and inspire more of my destiny helpers to assist me in making this dream a reality.