Veni Vidi Vici…


Some years ago I was asked what I wanted on my headstone. It was not one of those morbid kinda conversations it was more than likely a time I was having one of my weekly chats with a mentor and the question was used as more of a motivational tool than a focusing on death. Veni Vidi Vici is Latin and simply means, I came, I saw, I conquered and while I don’t necessarily look up the Julius Caesar, I find his words to be powerful.  

Ever since I restarted my culinary journey 8 years ago after taking a 6 year break to raise my first three children and suffering from burnout, I have wanted to blog about it and to be in control of the telling of my story.  As with many things for us that are unfamiliar I never really knew how to start. But this beginning, reopening my restaurant, experiencing round one of the empty nest and even repairing my personal self, I feel like now is as good a time as any to begin to share this journey.

I am more than just an Executive Chef; I am a mother with a blended family of five children ages 2-18 years old, a newly married, formerly single alpha woman and I am navigating to make a name for myself in a male-dominated career. Finally, I have reopened and relocated my restaurant after being closed for nearly 9 months.

When people look at the “celebrity chef” shows they make it seem so easy, after all it is television but the reality is this business is a beast!  If you are not careful it can consume, eat you up and spit you out on a plate of fatigue and burnout. It is not as glamorous as one would think and sometimes it really, really SUCKS!! It’s never so bad that I don’t want to get up every single day and do it all over again but it is also more than I ever thought I could do.

With this blog I want to share with you the good, the bad, the funny, the outrageous and the sometimes ugly and frustrating parts of this journey. And of course I will share some recipes, reviews on products that I love, some I abhor and a few that simply confuse me and are slightly ridiculous.

There is one thing that I feel like I have to say before I go…this blog is full of my opinions and feelings. Right, wrong or indifferent they are mine and not by any means meant to be taken as gospel. I am direct but I am open, some would say I am hard but I have a big heart. It is time the world gets to see African American women tell their own story without apology or shame.  I’d love to hear from you so please leave your comments below.

RecipesShanita McAfee