Chef Resha, Private Chef and Creator of Carnal Dish
Chef Resha, private chef and creator of Carnal Dish, is today’s spotlight. She’s a self-taught chef that’s won the hearts of thousands over social media with her comforting dishes, authentic voice, and step by step cooking tutorials. We spoke about how she was introduced to cooking, what her day to day looks like, and advice she has for aspiring chefs. Continue reading to learn more about Resha.
Resha, you are a self-taught chef. What inspired you to start cooking? And when did you come to realize you wanted to do it professionally?
It wasn’t until recently that I realized, “Wow, I’ve been obsessed with all things cooking my entire life”. When I was a kid, I got most excited about the play kitchens and easy-bake ovens I’d get for Christmas than anything else. I remember getting that big play kitchen and literally lighting up like the fourth of July. Throughout the years, I’d been all about eating different foods, and learning to cook. However, I never realized it was something I’d want to do professionally because “learning to cook” just seemed like a basic life skill that everyone should know how to do. But after years and years of working different jobs — which were satisfying at the time, but I quickly grew tired of, I would come home and cook and feel immediate bliss. Then one day it just clicked! This is and has always been my passion. Cooking makes me feel alive. Tasting, adjusting, creating, and enjoying food is all I want to do. Learning the science of why food behaves the way it does has shaped my skills over the years, and to be honest, I’m just getting started. I honestly can say that I cannot imagine myself doing anything else that isn’t food related. It’s just my lane.
Did your relationship with food and cooking change when you decided to become a private chef?
I remember a few of the first jobs I got cooking for well-known celebrities, and being super anxious. Like, my anxiety was through the roof. You tend to have this preconceived notion that celebrities want foie gras and duck fat foam with every meal, but the truth is that many of them have extremely simple palates — and don’t want anything fancy. They’re happy with a basic grilled cheese. So, my relationship with food didn’t so much change, but it did shift my expectations with certain clients. I’m not afraid to let a client know how long something takes to cook, or how much labor goes into it. Many seem to think you can just snap your fingers and “Voila! Pot roast in 3 minutes!”. No matter what industry you’re in where you provide a service to someone, you have to respectfully stand your ground as the expert, but still give them what they want. It’s all about compromise. You have to know how to say “no” when needed.
Self-care is so important in this industry, because if you’re not careful, someone will try to run you ragged through the ground all because they have no idea how much work cooking can truly be. Becoming a private chef has made my skin thicker, and my backbone stronger. I absolutely love to cook for people, because their reaction to the flavor is literally what I live for.
What does an average day look like for you? How do you manage to get everything done and still make time for yourself?
Well right now, my average day consists of me caring for my toddler. The day he was born, I put many things on hold because I wanted to give him as much of myself for as long as I could. Now that he’s almost two years old, I find myself itching to get back to work. I’ve been cooking his meals since he was able to eat solid foods, and it’s such a rewarding feeling to see him beg for more. Being a stay-at-home-mom is no easy feat. There have been many many zombie-like days where I’m honestly not even sure how I’m standing. However, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I can’t wait to get back to my regular rhythm and hit the ground running. As he gets older, I’m able to sleep longer and take better care of myself overall. I have a lot of things lining up for me, so I know I’m about to be as busy as ever. But today? I’m relishing in this moment of motherhood and soaking up every second.
We love how authentic and honest you are on social media. How has the increase of food bloggers online changed how you create content for your audience?
Not really. I have always been true to myself, and I think that’s what my readers appreciate most about me.
There are literally tons of food bloggers, and I think that’s great because there’s space for everyone at the table to eat. So many of the same types of recipes, but everyone puts their own twists on it — and that’s what’s important. Although I don’t mind giving the people what they ask for, I just let them know that it’s going to be my own flavor profile thrown in there. I create content not only for my audience, but for myself. I cook something, it turns out to be insanely delicious, and then it’s on my blog. I never really plan ahead. The times I’ve tried to do that, I end up not having time or blowing it off completely. Any recipe on my blog is something I truly believe in, loved, and couldn’t wait to share. That’s why there’s quite a few time gaps in my blog — I literally share what I love and try not to fill my blog with a bunch of filler content or subpar recipes.
What advice do you have for someone who is aspiring to become a chef?
Do it. Just do it. If you cannot afford to go to culinary school (because I didn’t), find proper resources so that you’re able to teach yourself how to do things every chef should know how to do. In my opinion, there are two things that bring people together, and that’s food and music. You can never have too many musicians, and you can never have too many chefs. Everyone has to eat, so feed them. Play with flavors, experiment with cooking techniques, and don’t be afraid to get creative. Never stop learning. Food evolves, and so do our flavor profiles. There will always be fresh and exciting ways to cook old favorites and invent new ones.
What are your future plans for Carnal Dish?
Maybe just a little bit of world domination. I’m going to keep what I have going on a secret for now, because I need to protect that energy. But just know, I haven’t even gotten started yet.
Interviewed by Reneé
To learn more about Resha, follow her on social media @chefresha