At a young age, I was brought into the food world by my Cajun family in Louisiana. My family constantly threw parties, and life centered around the kitchen. The first thing I ever made was French Toast; that was a disaster (but I have perfected that dish since)! From there, my mom saw that I was interested in being in the kitchen with her more and more, and she would teach me things. She showed me how to cut properly and to measure (more what I was baking, not when I was cooking, no measurements in my cooking).
As I got older, I kind of went away from cooking for awhile. Once my son was born, I got back to it and started really engrossing myself in different creative ways to bring in new dishes. Then I started reading cookbooks to the point where I was cooking like the chefs on TV without any formal training.
I started cooking for my clients in Orlando. I was doing some housekeeping and one of them asked me to cater a birthday party. I said sure why not, and I started putting together some recipes of my own.
I catered my first event! Fell in love with everybody just eating and enjoying the food and I felt such gratification from that! Food is so important around everybody’s table. It is my art! After five years in Orlando, we came to St. Augustine FL. I needed a break and did everything differently, but my love of food came back just by having parties and meeting other foodies. I think that was the biggest thing. Just like when you are a musician …when you meet another musician, they stimulate your blood. Meeting all the foodies around St. Augustine just brought the creativity back to what it should be--good wholesome fresh, amazing-tasting food that just makes you crave it when you can’t have it.
When I decided to return to the profession, I found this St Augustie bed and breakfast (Casa de Solana) and I immediately felt like I was home. It reminded me so much of courtyards in New Orleans, and just the feel of the home, it was so romantic where you just wanted to throw parties and create laughter and cut up with people and enjoy all this wholesome food.
When I am in Casa’s dining room, I feel at peace. I feel regal <shakes head> I just <laughs>, it gives you a giddiness. It makes you want to socialize and to make people feel at home, and when they have smiles on their face because they are enjoying all these yummy pastries and decadent food that normally they would not have on an every-day basis, it puts a smile on MY face.
The Death by Chocolate Party here at Casa is my favorite. Who doesn’t like chocolate!?! The decadent, the sweet, that melts in your mouth with that warm cup of coffee, it makes you feel happy and joyful. That’s just so amazing. Chocolate mini truffles, chocolate layered trifles, chocolate-cream napoleon, chocolate ganache-covered goodness, chocolate martinis. You can literally get drunk on the pure goodness!
I hope you’ll consider having your event or party at Casa de Solana. I approach your party as if it were my own, and I do nothing less spoil to the maximum of my ability all guests at my parties!