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Conversations with Charlene Dashield

Today we’d like to introduce you to Charlene Dashield.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
When people ask what makes someone a Chef Vs. a Cook: Some would say you must be classically trained BUT this is no longer necessarily true.

Plenty of self-taught Chefs can cook just as well as some of the classically trained.

What is true though is the following, it is the absolute rule of thumb:

A COOK NEEDS AND RELIES UPON RECIPES OR HAS JUST A FEW THINGS THEY ARE GREAT AT COOKING.

A CHEF CREATES DISHES, CHANGES AND PERSONALIZES RECIPES, AND KNOWS WHAT WORKS WELL TOGETHER AND EXPERIMENTS… WITH

THE END RESULT BEING A GREAT AND DELICIOUS CULINARY EXPERIENCE.

I am Charlene also known as Sauce. A loving nickname given to me by my longtime partner due to my love of sauces and extra sauce on everything I eat. I am a youthful, family loving 50 years old woman who is a self-taught Chef. I first found I had a natural knack for making great recipes and foods around age 17ish. I was pregnant and a senior in High School and my grandmother who raised me didn’t cook some of the types of food I like or wanted to eat.

Cooking for me is about more than just money. Of course, it is also about money but mainly, it’s a further expression of who I always have been. Which is an artist.

I could always draw and paint anything. At one time fashion design was my goal till I became a mom… again and again, lol. I think Chefs are people who cook with a real passion, not just for money, not just for need but because they truly love what they create. Chefs aren’t scared to experiment to push your palette and to push your visual senses.

That’s what I love about it.

It’s what excites me. I cook with a love for the craft.

So I began with some recipes for spaghetti and a neat lemon-based tuna salad. Next, I moved on to Chili and seafood. By the time I was 21 and living with my first fiance (we didn’t get married) and my then 3 yr old, I was cooking chicken alfredo breasts and rice with alfredo sauce, etc.

Fast forward to now and I am a 50 years old mother and grandmom who has raised five kids and now enjoys stuffing two grandkids when they visit. So now my recipes and food experiments and success stories are as bountiful as the amount of sauce I love.

I incorporate my Maryland girl taste buds along with different foods I have tasted in my travels and journey of life. You will see as we go along on this food journey together that I have a love of seafood, Old Bay and well-flavored meats and dishes. Portion size is also something very important to me as a Maryland girl. If you know Maryland, you know we love our large portions. You better not serve a small plate in Maryland unless it’s at a very fancy restaurant, that is different. But when it comes to comfort food, family or gatherings… the plate better be good and it better be big.

I wanted to take the time to thank all the women and one man who influenced my cooking and these are people who I often think of when I cook certain things. Sometimes it feels like they are in the kitchen with me and it’s something that does my spirit good. Some are still with us and others have moved on to the heavens.

Cooking for me is about more than just money. Of course, it is also about money but mainly, it’s a further expression of who I always have been. Which is an artist.

I hope you’ll try some of my food soon.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Well, while I had a childhood most would pay money for…

My life since age 31 has not been an easy one.

I have been through struggles, my children have been through struggles. Some of those struggles still

plaque me and my family now but we are all trying to process, heal and grow in our own ways.

While no one enjoys struggle (I know I don’t) and some struggles are traumatizing, I’d also say that struggle and hard times build character and make you realize there’s nothing you can’t and won’t do if your life and survival depends on them.

As for my businesses, my web design company has been much easier to get off the ground than my Chef Business.

I am coming up on the one year anniversary of my Chef Business actually becoming a business and I am not at the level of popularity yet among the masses that I would prefer. I hope to greatly grow and improve that in the coming year.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I own two businesses. I am a Web Designer and Marketer and I am also a Personal Chef and able to cater smaller events up to 100 guests.

As a web designer, of course, I take web design jobs or for example social media jobs and we sit down and come up with a project and finished product that will be the vision and the flagship if you will for my customer’s online presence. I’ve been doing that since 2007.

As far as my Chef business well. That is my true love. I love food, I love the look, the feel, the tastes the textures. I wanted to share that love of food with the masses. I was born and bred in Salisbury, Maryland on the Eastern Shore and lived some years as an adult in Baltimore. I will always say I am a Maryland girl no matter where I live or for how long.

I am most culinary-wise for my amazing Pasta dishes. Particularly my super-sized, fried stuffed Ravioli with my own tomato sauce. I also make a great goat cheese and crab crostini. Honestly, I cook so many awesome dishes that I don’t even know how to list them all here. The best way to see and experience my foods is well of course to buy some and enjoy it. But if you cannot do that if I am not in the area then please head to chefsaucesalisbury.com/vlog

I do Pop Ups for food sales in Baltimore, Salisbury and Ocean City.

I’d say what makes me different is I do not let anything stop me, not age, not aches and pains, not whatever I may be dealing with. I will keep going till I have nothing left to give.

When it comes to what I am most proud of its, teaching myself my crafts and executing them greatly. It is also my own personality and never giving up. I am proud of who I, myself am.

I created and invented a Baltimore Chicken Box Sub. Its oh so good!

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
This is an interesting question.

I think we are going to see way more self-taught Chefs like myself due to the ridiculous cost of Culinary Schools.

I think we are going to continue to see Instagram as a huge advertising platform for Chefs and other creatives.

I think many Chefs are going to move away from Brick and Mortar buildings, especially if Pandemics keep creeping up.

Pricing:

  • Whole Seafood Trays $150
  • Weddings (non seafood) $45 per person
  • Weddings (seafood included) $65 per person
  • Personal Chef Service $1,000 – 5k

Contact Info:

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