By Karen Stokes
“You’re never too young to follow your dreams,” these wise words came from 11-year-old Ra’quell Boyd, a student at St. Marcus North Campus, who is also known as Chef Kisses.
Chef Kisses’ proves that age is not a barrier to her dream of cooking professionally. She was inspired by watching her parents cook, her favorite dish to cook is fried chicken.
Gordon Ramsay serves as one of her idols, as she admires his dedication to teaching children how to cook. Chef Kisses’ journey began when her grandmother gifted her a hot plate skillet at the tender age of five, sparking her love for breakfast items like bacon, eggs, and pancakes.
“My wife Sarhena and I bought her a deep fryer where she started making fries, mozzarella sticks, onion rings and then fried chicken. She didn’t touch the stove until she was eight years old,” said Chef Kisses father, Robert Boyd.
All of Chef Kisses’ recipes were passed down from family but she loves to experiment. She frequently explores various spices and seasonings to create unique dishes.
“When she sautéd shrimp, she tried her own different seasonings and would want me and my wife to come and taste it. The majority of the recipes came from me and my wife but she also goes online and finds different recipes,” said Boyd.
For an opportunity to sample Chef Kisses’ cuisine, this Saturday, September 16, she will host the Small Business Owners Youth Expo. Chef Kisses along with Violet’s Jewelry Box, Dede presents Starrelegance, Braided by Dihonne and Manna Morsels by Chef Milan will be available for the public to discover their creativity.
“We have a young lady doing braiding, another young lady bringing sweet treats, a young lady that does jewelry,” said Chef Kisses.
This free event will be held at Holy Cathedral COGIC, 2677 N 40th Street 3-6pm
Advice that Boyd would offer other parents is, “I would say that anything that you see that your kids are interested in and they’re giving time and energy to if it’s positive we need to back them up 100 percent because in the world that we live in a lot of these kids out here are running wild because no one is paying them any attention so they try to find something that will get someone’s attention.”
As for Chef Kisses’ own dreams for the future, she looks forward to owning a food truck and one day building her own restaurant.