“I am going to make myself a sandwich,” I declared to my mother when I was four-years-old as I marched into the kitchen. I remembering opening the refrigerator, grabbing the bread, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. After placing the two slices of whole wheat bread in a toaster and diligently spreading the ingredients on each layer of darkly toasted bread, I had created a condiment sandwich that I proudly ate. Did the ingredients work together – absolutely not! It lacked texture, depth of flavor, substance – it was literally a condiment sandwich! However imperfect it was, that was the beginning to my love story with food.
Some of the best childhood memories I have were in the kitchen. I was always seeking knowledge about food, what ingredients worked together, experimenting with flavors, textures, seasonings.
As I grew up and transitioned into my teen years, I became more confident in my cooking and found ways to share my culinary creations with friends and family. Whether it be baked goods, breakfast, lunch, dinner or a full course menu for the holidays, I would always try to share food with the people I cared most about. Cooking became my way of showing and giving love.
Fast-forward fourteen years past my four-year-old condiment sandwich creation, I graduated high school and began culinary arts school at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. It was 2007, I was 18-years-old without a clue and all I knew was that I loved cooking. That school opened up quite a few doors for me that 18-year-old me definitely took for granted. I had unique opportunities to cater for the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, work for Michelin star restaurants and celebrity chefs. By 21-years-old my culinary dreams came to a stand-still when I had my first daughter in July 2010. I was a mama!!! The demands of the culinary world did not match up with the demands of being a mom, so I took a break from cooking and focused on my education, starting off at Santa Monica community college.
Santa Monica Community college proved to be a great place to start my collegiate journey.
By 2014, I was able to transfer to the University of California, Irvine as a Biological Sciences major. It was a proud moment in my life because I finally had made it to a university. I participated in research, presenting my publications at local, state and national conferences. My daughter was growing and was extremely happy at a local school, we had a car and a student apartment – life was good! It was a great time for me intellectually as I realized how profound an effect scientific research had on the world. Never had I dreamt that I would be able to speak on such esteemed platforms to such knowledgeable and distinguished professors about science.
In October 2016, with less than one year left before graduating with my degree in biological sciences, I had my second daughter. How would I graduate from school? I was inches away from finally getting my bachelor’s degree yet, it seemed so out of reach. Through consistency, relentlessness and prayer, both of my daughters watched me walk across the graduation stage receiving my bachelor’s degree in biology in June 2017. As fate would have it, I started working for an emerging biotech company to manufacture T-cells for cancer patients by September 2017. It was an exciting time for my family’s life.
My current work in biotech is exciting and knowing that I am making an impact in cancer’s patient’s lives is exhilarating. Working in biotech, however, made me realize that I can only treat the cause of cancer. What about the effect?
Using my research experience, I started looking into the underlying causes of cancer, then moved on to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other diseases that plague society today. Then I had my epiphany – it was all in the food! Eureka! From there, I was beset on finding ways to expand on the medicinal properties of food, showing people how to eat tasty food that is scientifically proven to fight against diseases. Wouldn’t it be a greater service for people to treat the cause of the disease, preventing it altogether through food? Everyone needs to eat after all.
In late 2018, MEALS with Radiance was born, a renaissance of my food love story. My combination of chef skills and research biologist training is used to service people from all walks of life who want healthy and delicious food that is scientifically proven to decrease the probability of acquiring diseases and increase overall vitality.
Every little step, from the condiment sandwich, to the births of my daughters, volunteering at hospitals, graduating from college and finally working at a biotech – these were all necessary steps in my journey toward the creation of MEALS with Radiance. The journey has had setbacks, learning curves, moments of triumph and moments of failure. Each step in this entrepreneurial expedition has taught me something and I will cherish each part of my journey on my railroad to radiance. It is all part of a necessary process and I am enjoying every minute of it.
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