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Cooking It Up With Fabulous Faith

Cooking It Up With Fabulous Faith

November 13th, 2015
Arts

Fabulous Faith is widely regarded as being Toronto’s #1 private chef. This is for a good reason as the quality of her work speaks for itself, and the results are direct evidence of this. However what makes the story of Faith even more interesting is the way in which she conducts herself. She is very professional and a hard worker, but more importantly her values are also key factors that contributed to her success thus far. She is a confident and resilient woman who refuses to give up and continues to persevere. She is making a splash in the world of cooking, an industry largely dominated by men. Although this has been an obstacle for Faith, she is far from discouraged. In fact, it has only served as motivation for her to keep pushing and breaking down barriers. Faith has often been criticized for being too ‘urban’, but this couldn’t be any further from the truth. She is simply a by-product of the continuously expanding and multicultural city that is Toronto, and is very much in touch with the city and the direction it is heading in.

After conducting this interview, I learned a lot from Faith and realized those criticisms are baseless. Although she has a strong and outgoing personality, it is simply her just being confident in her abilities and understanding the positive impact she is making through her work. In fact, she is a very charitable person and does a lot for the community. She uses her gifts to help the homeless in the city develop necessary life skills among other things. It was certainly refreshing being able to speak with her and I’m positive that those who read this interview will end up leaving with the same impressions of her as I did.

YA: I’m glad we were able to arrange this interview. How are you doing?

FF: I’m doing well; I’ve just been keeping busy. I’m making television appearances and just working.

YA: Busy is good. Talk about yourself and what it is that you do?

FF: The name of my business is Fabulous Faith’s Food and my trade name is Fabulous Faith. I do TV and media demonstrations. Also, I do cooking demonstrations at major food festivals across Toronto. My career goal is to be like an ‘urban Martha Stewart’. I’m also the number one private chef in Toronto and I do writing. I write food and product recipes and offer nutritional advice.

YA: The field you’re in is very interesting. Recently, you’ve been
getting yourself out there and gaining a lot of exposure by making appearances on various television shows. How has this whole experience been for you?

FF: It’s definitely a learning experience. When your goal is to have your own show it’s good to have that “actual experience” on your resumé. It’s like a stepping-stone. You work with different producers in different studios. You have to learn a lot on the spot. It gives me good insight on what goes on behind the scenes so I enjoy that aspect.

YA: It’s interesting you brought up your goals. What is the end-goal for you?

FF: Well my next goal is to have my own television show on a major network. Going forward I want to have a large product network. Transforming North American food related items to be palatable for all ethnicities. I want to focus more on recipe creating and write more cookbooks. I just released my new cookbook last month. I want to release one per quarter moving forward.

YA: I want to touch on something you said earlier. You said you were the number one private chef in Toronto and it’s something I seen on your site. It’s very refreshing to see that you pride yourself on being the best private chef. I personally believe that everyone should strive to be the best in their respective field. What is it about you and your services that make you the best in the business?

FF: My background in business strategy and the ability to negotiate contracts. Other chefs out there are unaware of how to do strategic marketing campaigns. I have a teen who keeps me up to date with social media and I have people from different walks of life who support me. My food is great, obviously, and the fact that I always come through and get the job done. I’m also able to use my networks of contacts to put myself in the right situation. Actually, a perfect example of that is I’m working with an American rapper, who I’ve worked with before. I’m hoping this gives me my American accreditation to expand.

YA: You definitely have the potential to do that. I think you’re in the right field. Boxer Floyd Mayweather paid his private chef $1,000 per meal. When you hear that, what goes through your mind?

FF: It’s definitely a good gig to have. Maybe I should try to cook for Floyd Mayweather (laughing). Truthfully speaking though, some of the clients I deal with are bigger stars than Mayweather.

YA: That’s pretty interesting. It appears as though you’re relatively established in your field. I want you to discuss some of the things you’ve accomplished thus far?

FF: People always congratulate me on my achievements, but once you have big goals you don’t pay much attention to them because your overall goal is much bigger.

I’m proud to have made over a dozen TV appearances with no manager or agent. I have a successful catering business and I now have my own takeout location. I’m continuing to maintain and improve my reputation as a chef in my community. I’m glad my kids are at a certain age where I can focus on my work and work in my community. It’s especially important since my children, my grandchildren and even future generations when I’m long gone will one day live in and be apart of this community. I’ve overcome plenty of hurdles in my life. I feel like I already accomplished so much in my personal life that there is nothing stopping me from reaching my goals professionally.

YA: So what has been your recipe for success? No pun intended.

FF: (laughing). Determination, perseverance and consistency. You’ll get a thousand no’s for every yes, so you have to be able to get the dirt off your shoulder and push yourself.

YA: You mentioned something very interesting. “You’ll get a thousand no’s for every yes”, which is true. I’m sure there have been some obstacles on your journey to success. What have those obstacles been for you?

FF: I’m in a male dominant field. People in the industry need to change their perception of what a chef is. The food television industry is dominated by white males, but in reality that’s not actually the case. It has been the status quo because they’re [networks] just looking for newer versions of their current content. They’re not looking to step outside the box. I’ve personally been criticized for being too “urban”. One piece of advice to anyone coming up is to make sure you show up on time and you do a good job. Helping people will also put you ahead.

YA: Being criticized for being “too urban” sounds condescending.

FF: It was condescending. You know what’s funny? Men, chefs in particular, want women who know how to cook but when you go into these restaurants, the kitchens are filled with males. There are no females in sight. Something else I find interesting is that I am basically the only Chef at all the major food festivals to not have a show. I have more bookings than Food Network’s TV roster and a larger following and yet I am referred to like condo landscaping. It’s like they are willfully blind.

YA: That’s a pretty interesting point you bring up. You mentioned that helping people will put you ahead. I believe in that principle. What types of things do you do help others?

FF: Well, I do a lot of charity work, as much as I can. I’m working on a project for homeless youth as there is a negative stigma surrounding them. I read an article in ‘The Star’ and they said that when homeless youth transition from residences/shelters they didn’t have life skills they needed. So I met with the shelters near me and designed an 8 week program. Every other Saturday, starting in January, I’m teaching these children how to cook with food bank groceries, how to buy groceries on a budget so when they move they’re prepared because they have the life skills necessary for survival.

YA: That’s incredible! Since this is your area of expertise, what advice would you give to someone on what foods to eat who is interested in putting on size/gaining weight or losing weight?

FF: My recommendation is to consume high fat foods. You’re going to make yourself a protein shake, make sure it contains homo milk, peanut butter, ice cream and bananas. Then don’t move around, just sit around and play the latest NBA 2K game (laughing). Eventually when you put on the weight, turn that into muscle. Also make sure you have high carbohydrate diets.

If you’re interested in losing weight then that really comes down to limiting your calories. Get under 1800 calories if you want to lose weight and make sure you exercise. Chewing Celery burns more calroies than it gives you. Bubbling water can help with that as well.

YA: You currently have a cookbook out and you offer nutritional advice on your blog as well. Where can people see some of your work? Also, what inspired you to write this cook book?

FF: You can check out my blog, there is a link on the right hand side where you can see a preview of my cookbook. The cookbook was sparked by my kids. Based on that, that’s where I come up with my ideas. I also make some gluten-free foods as I have been working with the celiac community.

YA: That’s great. I’m glad you took the time to speak with us, hopefully we can speak some more in the future moving forward. Anything you want to say before we conclude our interview?

FF: Check out my blog for great information and also follow me on my social networks. Thank you for your support.

Definitely be sure to visit her website and her blog. Also be sure to check out her online cookbook and follow her on her social networks!

www.foodisfabulous.ca
www.foodisfabulous.blogspot.ca

Cookbook: Fifteen Fabulous Kids Snack Ideas

Facebook: Fabulous Faith
Instagram: @FabulousFaithsFood
Twitter: @FabulousFaithTO

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