We had the good fortune of connecting with Chef Demetria Olive and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chef Demetria, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
This is a great question! I find inspiration from multiple resources. I have an encouraging group of family and friends who inspire me to be and do better as a Chef, entrepreneur, mom and as a person. I’m constantly reading stories of other women who’ve created successful businesses as single moms or started their businesses later in life. Stories like those, keep me centered and inspire me to keep moving forward when I have doubts or feel discouraged by roadblocks. I’m a visual person, so when I see colors, a beautiful plate of food or a new recipe, I’m inspired to create something amazing to eat and I always want to share it with others. I believe God has given me a gift and with all gifts, they’re meant to be shared with others. So, when I cook for others, I’m always humbled by their reactions and praises. But most of all, I’m grateful that they’ve allowed me to share a small piece of their life during a special occasion and it feels great that I’ve added a joyful memory of really good food they can cherish. That’s inspiring!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Personal Chef and Hero for Non-Cooks. I offer in-home cooking classes, private dinners, meal-prep service, and wine/food tastings. I come into people’s home and guide them in cooking restaurant quality meals in the comfort of their own homes amongst their family and/or friends. I give people the opportunity to gain quality time back with their loved ones and having one less thing to worry about on their to-do list. Today, there are a ton of companies offering food delivery services where you have to prepare your own meals and you barely have enough time to take a shower! How many times have you come home from a long day of working and cringe at the thought of gathering up enough energy and will power to prepare a balanced meal for you and your family? With A Touch of Olive Personal Chef & Culinary Services, you’re customizing your life, one meal at a time! You’re getting a professional, yet personal touch of having a meal prepared for you OR choose to guide you in preparing a plentiful and memorable meal, with our in-home cooking class. This is what I am most proud of as a brand. I’ve always been told that my food is amazing and beautiful and most can’t believe I just create dishes out of what’s in their pantry. What does stick out for me are the expressed feelings of comfort they get from me personally. I remind clients of a good friend they can grab a drink and share stories with. Someone they can trust in their home where their private lives are and memories are created. That is something I pride myself with. My journey has been filled with hills and rough terrain. I’ve started and stopped, failed and succeeded. I ran my business while still working corporate for a few years until my son was born. My son was born at 25 weeks and weighed 1lb and 12oz. He was in NICU for 3 months in 2004 and couldn’t be around another person outside of my ex-husband and I for 1 year. I stopped everything and lost my will to continue being a Chef during that very difficult time. My divorce happened a couple of years after our son was born and I had to start my life over again. I was so emotional during that time. It wasn’t until I began to feel this longing for another purpose in my life, that I began to want to cook again. I come from a family of very strong women, like my Mother, who’ve endured a lot of pain and disappointment. They’ve all allowed themselves to cry for a short time but refused to let their circumstances define who they are. Because of that strength and drive, I got a job, moved North and began cooking again. I knew I had to keep moving for my son. He was my driving force. The lessons I’ve learned from my experiences is that ultimately, if you really want to change your life or accomplish your dream, you have to actively start. And when you’ve failed, because you will, you have to start again. Each time I’ve failed, I’ve learned what not to do and as a result I learned how to be more successful. I’m still learning, still failing, but I will keep restarting.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The 1st place I would take my best friend is to the Dallas Farmer’s Market and The Sound of Cypress in Coppell to walk around, see the crafts and taste the food of the local businesses . For dinner, we would visit an Italian restaurant in Dallas called, Lucia. That is if I can get a reservation. This is the best Italian food I’ve ever had outside of Italy. I would visit Sandaga 813 or Freeman’s in Dallas to hang out to listen to fantastic music from local artists and bands. The Island Spot has incredible drinks that make you feel like you’re on an actual island with amazing food and music as well! Some of the best cupcakes around are at Fluellen’s in Dallas that we would not miss out on. Now, before she leaves, she’ll have to try my Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole with Bacon and Pecans for brunch. All in the comfort of my home!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my sister, Eboni Bond, my brother Michael Bowden and my son, Austin. These 3 people have been there from the beginning when I didn’t know what I wanted to do, how I wanted to run my business and were brutally honest about my food. My siblings have extensive experience in the food and beverage industry and knew how to work it. They encouraged me take on challenges I didn’t think I could handle because they believed in me and my food. They supported me with events as waiters, bartenders and as Su Chefs when I couldn’t afford or find extra help. They also lovingly, but firmly, told me when I messed up and the areas where I could improve. My son helps me with the heavy lifting when it just becomes too much and let’s me know when my food isn’t quite the 4 or 5 star quality status he believes I can achieve. I know with these 3, and a few others, I would not be where I am today. My support system is phenomenal and I am blessed to call them family!
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