Today we’d like to introduce you to KaTisha Smittick.
Hi KaTisha, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I got started with culinary after I was medically retired from the Army; I was attending the Art Institute of Virginia for photographic imaging. I was taking a food photography class and I truly loved being in the kitchen and watching the chefs work. A few years later, I was taking some time off from doing photography and decided to attend Culinary school at Stratford University.
During my time at Stratford, I was afforded the opportunity to work with several chefs in many different areas. I worked in a food truck; I began to work at my church where we cooked for the pastors and visiting pastors, I worked also with a catering company. While in my last few semesters, I did my externship at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper club. Also, being from my area, I was invited to do the grand opening to Forman Mills. On my completion of school, I traveled to Los Angeles to work with Celebrity Chef Lauren Vanderpool, where I got the chance to work with her in the VIP gifting center for the BET Awards.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Nothing is ever smooth but I just adapt different. I honestly believe in struggles and what they can push you to. Your mindset has to be right to understand that struggles build character. Some of the things that could’ve held me back was having a total knee reconstruction; I was in a serious accident caused by an 18 wheeler that could’ve ended my school term and life. I was also hospitalized at the very end of my semester and almost couldn’t graduate. I overcame all of that because the will is stronger than the want!
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
People always ask what’s your specialty and I always answer, “Why do I need to have just one, I just love to cook whatever the mind and stomach wants.” I do, however love to create new ways of cooking things that I had as a kid that I never liked. My most sold items are Lamb chops, Mac and cheese, Shrimp and grits.
I’m mostly proud of not giving up when times get rough. The days when I feel like I can’t do it any longer, I go do work in the community, which grounds me and get me back to where I need to be. What sets me apart from others is that I’m willing to do what needs to be done and my work ethic is unmatched. I not only run a business, I figure out how I can give back fully to my community as well. I’m a firm believer in taking care of those who cant take care of themselves and if they need some help, I will do everything possible to either provide it or find someone who can help me accomplish the mission.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
The most important lessons I’ve learned in my journey was, 1. Be true to yourself, 2. Complete the mission at high standards, 3. Love what you do, 4. Take time for yourself, 5. Give back to those who are in need, 6. Always do what you say you’re going to do and always show up on time.
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- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC–RkSyYpUi5vJ8KajOrU7g
Joesph Long (pictures in purple) Damion Brown (pictures in red).