We had the good fortune of connecting with Marissa Serrano and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marissa, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
As a new excited Chef, I never set an end goal. I’ve always been curious and adventurous, I enjoying taking on new experiences. What I did know is I wanted to learn as much as possible and the end goal would eventually come. However, when the Pandemic hit in 2020, I lost both my jobs within a week of each other. I was devastated! For almost a year I was a Private Chef for a family in West-Over Hills, as well as, a Culinary Supervisor at the new Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. So, I decided to devote more time to my personal business, Fork Worthy. Using my kitchen experience, I began with catering & meal preps, eventually adding on desserts; cakes, cupcakes, & cheesecakes. After 6 months of being unemployed, an opportunity to work at a local bakery was posted on Instagram. My mom had been following this baker since she opened her own shop. She encouraged me to apply with all the recent baking I had been doing already. Suddenly I realized my passion had begun to change from savory to sweet, a new venture awaited me.

The transition from kitchen to bakery has allowed me to grow in many areas of my life; as these two setting are complete opposites. I’ve begun building my clientele and working on my Fork Worthy business with a goal to have my own bakery in 5 years. Is that the end goal? Everyday obstacles, challenges, and learning experiences help keep me motivated to grown every day. Therefore, is there ever an end goal?

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being in the kitchen for approximately 6 years took a toll mentally, physically, and emotionally on me without realizing it. Each day I always made an effort to give my all. That is what I feel sets me apart, my passion and drive to learn anything and everything. I’ve worked in 5-star kitchens and local venues; I cook, bake, and I have even worked front of house. I have a wide variety of experiences to take along with me on my journey. Unfortunately, I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be in the industry but as a female running the kitchen is rare and wasn’t always easy. While running the kitchen I’ve been known to be the “man wrangler”! I’ve learned no matter how hard it gets, never give up; just keep pushing through.

It is nearly my 1-year anniversary at the bakery and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. With the guidance of my boss and coworkers, the support of my boyfriend, family and friends; I have finally found my passion. I always said I would never take on cake decorating because you need too much patience. Well, after a year of continuous practice and A LOT of patience, I have grown very patient and gained a love I never knew I had. I look forward to the many challenges that may come along with building my business but the journey will all be worth it in the end.

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?
If my best friend were to visit I would give her the ultimate Texas Tour! Starting in Austin, Texas we’ll go floating down the river and walk around Zilkner Park enjoying the beautiful weather. Before heading to the hotel, take a quick lunch break to Congress Ave for a slice at Home Slice Pizza. When the sun begins to set we will go see the bats take off at Ann. W. Richards Ave Bridge. After sunset, its time to enjoy the night life! With sushi being one of our favorites, Lucky Robot is the best and Pete’s dueling piano bar for some live music and drinks for “dessert”!

The next morning brunch will be served at South Congress Ave, with some shopping to follow at the cute boutiques in the area. Afterwards we will drive back home to Fort Worth for the local tour. Throughout the week I’ll take her to Los Colinas for kayaking, Downtown Dallas to see the cute shops, farmers marker, Downtown Fort worth for the water gardens, some amazing appetizers throughout multiple restaurants in South Main St. and some coffee or dessert on Magnolia Ave. Taking her to all the hot spots and upcoming locations.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to take the time to thank my mom for encouraging me to try this new journey. If she hadn’t notified me of the job opportunity I may have never known what my true passion or end goal could be. I’m thankful to have started this new journey, being a Culinary Arts Graduate I never expected to take such a turn in kitchen positions. From working as a line cook, private chef in the Culinary Industry, to baker and cake decorator, I am glad I took a change and made a change. My skills have grown tremendously from when I started and it’s only going up from here. I also want to credit my mom, dad and boyfriend for always being support, sending emails to coworkers and/or making post on Facebook, and always giving input when we have tastings! Also, my boss Tareka Lofton, owner of Loft 22 Cakes. I am grateful to have a boss the cares about her employees and encourages and helps as needed at work and for my business as well. Having someone who gives you the opportunity to grow in your own personal business with their guidance is amazing. And lastly, the amazing support of my closest friends, you know who you are!

Instagram: @_chef_issa_ and @fork.worthy1

Facebook: @fork.worthy1

Image Credits
The image credits I’d love to acknowledge are from my little sister, Michaela Serrano.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.