2015 was a year of transcendence for me. After graduating in 2014, I was really unsure of the direction I wanted my life to go or even who I was as an individual. I was working a job that I did not like or enjoy; I was living in a town full of complacency and lack of ambition. I woke up everyday asking myself the same question, "how did I end up here?" I felt stuck and hopeless. The only happiness I found was in the kitchen.
One day as I set prepping my cheeses for my famous 5 Cheese Mac and Cheese, I realized something. I wasn't happy. I needed a drastic change. That very day I made a decision to leave that place, take a leap of faith and to not ever look back.
So I packed up my stuff and moved 4 hours away with $300 to my name. Now Sōlmates, I'm not going to lie to you. After moving, my life bought a one way ticket on the struggle bus. But "if there is no struggle, there is no progress". We as individuals have the most growth when we step OUTSIDE our comfort zone and take a leap of faith. I was homeless and jobless, in a completely different city. But I couldn't let that stop me. Like my grandmomma always told me, "babygirl, trouble don't last always".
Through ways I can't even begin to explain, God blessed me. Next thing I knew, I found myself working at one of the top accounting firms in the country. Not only that, I began to establish connections with other east coast foodies with the same culinary passion as myself. And hence, A Pinch of Sōl was born!!
When I was working that job I didn't quite enjoy, my only release was through my food. Being in the kitchen and smelling food as it was cooking, took me back to my childhood. Memories of me helping my grandmomma cook by snapping green beans in the living room. Memories of laughter and joy as I seasoned the chicken for my mother before she dropped it in the hot oil. Watching these magnificent women in awe as they seasoned the food with their sōls, instead of following a recipe to the tee.
Cooking felt like home, so I cooked more and more. Slowly but surely, my love and appreciation for the craft grew. My confidence grew. I began to cook like my mother and grandmother and their mothers. I started to rely more on my senses to season my food. Using my sense of touch, smell, and sight, I began putting sōl into every dish, just as my mother, grandmother and our ancestors did. That's what cooking with sōl is. I believe that everyone can become a great chef. And just like any other skill, practice is key. Trusting your senses, cooking with your gut and embracing variation because food ALWAYS tastes better with A Pinch of Sōl!