Some 40 years ago in a small town in the Carolinas, Helen Eggleston gave birth to a baby boy. That would be me. I was born into a family rich with love for one another and a love for good old fashion cookin’.
I had an appreciation for all of the tasty treats my family would churn out. In fact, I spent the first twelve years of my life lickin’ those mixing bowls! My grandfather Mr. Cleveland Jones was by far the best chef in the south, and my grandmother Mrs. AnnieMae could put a hurtin’ on a sweet potatoe pie. Aunt Jannie made the best German chocolate cake. Aunt Betty made the sweetest pies and collards. Her carrot cake…made you wanna lick the icing off of other people’s fingers! My Aunt Margaret- she made beef stew like nobody’s business! Then of course there was the baby of the family, my mother Helen. Now my mother never learned to cook, but what she lacked in culinary skills she more than made up for with her love. When I was born to her, I represented the hope of a new promise. As a child, my grandfather instilled a rock solid foundation in me which serve as a blueprint for my life. My mom passed on to me a legacy rich in love and tradition. My dedication to cooking is one way I keep my promise to Helen.
I found that I had a passion for the art of cooking, the more I did it, the more I more I wanted to do it. It was something I loved to do- not just to be able to buy nice things with the money I might possibly make someday. Cooking was something that motivated me, it was my purpose. In the beginning people were very discouraging. They projected their own fears unto me often saying things like; ” Be prepared to go broke” or ” Its hard to make a living cooking”, or “That’s a great hobby, but get a real job”.
What they didn’t realize was that I was not motivated by money because I had found my purpose in cooking; The thing I was born to do. Guess what happened. The more I pursued my passion, the more opportunities to make money followed. It happened to me and it will happen to you.
Chefing makes my heart beat faster. When I cook, I can bring a smile or laugh to people’s face or just have them escape by having great food. Cooking is my passion however passion does not have to be reflected in solely in what you do for a living. You can take passionate interest in many things. I am also passionate about art yet I am the worst painter known to man so I collect paintings, photographs, and sculptures that move me. I am also passionate about traveling. I have been to Asia, two countries in Africa, South America, Mexico and seven countries in Europe. These are just a few of my passions, what are yours? Passion is about this inner excitement for something bubbling to the surface. You don’t have to be rich to be passionate about something; You have to be undeniably excited.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, you like having fun right? Well so do I. It is much more fun and rewarding to allow yourself to live passionately with unbridled enthusiasm than to walk through life without passion “tryin’ to get by”. Those who live their lives with passion never “get by”. They thrive, often living beyond their dreams. Thanks for the ear and have a wonderful day!
I love to see the look on people’s faces when they talk about how good the food is at this or that restaurant. You know, the one they can’t wait to go back to and get their favorite dish. You only see it when people talk about food, especially soul food.
I grew up in New Rochelle and have traveled and lived in a lot of places. I tried my hand at many things – from playing football for Syracuse to working on films. Through it all, the one thing that stayed with me all these years was owning a restaurant.
After working in the film and television industry for the last 15 years, I began to seriously think about turning my dream of owning a restaurant into reality. Then fate intervened. While visiting family in New Rochelle, I ran into a friend who needed financial help to open up a soul food restaurant – I couldn’t believe it!I rolled the dice, quit my job, and put my life savings into Sweet Potatoes.
Three years later, I continue to realize that owning a restaurant is the hardest most demanding thing I’ve ever accomplished. It is also the most rewarding. All of the sacrifice pays off when I see that look on people’s faces when they come in to get their favorite dish. Only this time, as fate would have it, I’m the guy cooking it for them!
Thank you for stopping by.