QUESTION 1: How did you get involved in recipe development and food photography? And what do you hope to do with your craft?
"Back in 2006, when food blogging was beginning to take off, I launched my very first blog, The Sizzling Spoon (R.I.P.) Creating recipes and sharing them with loved ones and friends has always been a passion of mine. I continued with The Sizzling Spoon throughout college, taking a break from food blogging once I graduated and started selling real estate. About one year ago, I launched Lovely Oven when I moved from Los Angeles to New Orleans. Lovely Oven has become a platform where I share recipes I develop, style and photograph.
Now through Lovely Oven, I am able to create recipes for health and fitness brands, lifestyle and even home décor brands. It’s been years of experimenting in the kitchen that has brought me to this point and I couldn’t be more excited for what is to come!"
QUESTION 2: What have you learned about cooking since moving to NOLA?
"Where do I even begin?! You can imagine how different it was, growing up in Malibu, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles, and then moving to New Orleans, LA. I’ve become a lot more familiar with Southern cuisine since then. As silly as it sounds, I hadn’t enjoyed real Southern food before moving to NOLA. Many dishes (i.e. gumbo, shrimp and grits) are staples in peoples lives that have even been passed down multiple generations. I love learning different varieties of those core recipes and experimenting with my own touches. Recently, I created my very own version of shrimp and grits but w/ quinoa, which y’all can find on Rasharie’s website.
That recipe is the perfect example of my California roots making an appearance in a popular Southern dish."
QUESTION 3: Favorite New Orleans dish? A few of your favorite New Orleans restaurants?
- Central Grocery’s Muffaletta sandwich
- Bananas Foster
- Homemade Gumbo
As for restaurants, I love Saba and No. 7. The food at Hotel Peter and Paul is also extremely impressive. A huge fan of all three!
QUESTION 5: Anything you would like to promote?
"I’m excited to announce the official launch of Lovely Oven’s new website. If you’re interested, head on over to www.LovelyOven.com and check it out!"
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Photography: Kristin-Lee Moolman / Styling: Suzanne Koller
She's black + beautiful and comes with an unpredictable fashion taste .. I don't know a better combo title for someone than RIHANNA! Her latest partnership with Bernard Arnault and LVMH [being the first black woman to design for the luxury fashion house] has the world gone, cray! There's no better option for this position than the Barbados beauty | ..girls follow, guys love, and everyone in between just fall to her feet. You can check out some pieces from her line, “FENTY”, mostly under $1K with statement shades, textures and structure pieces for your wardrobe.
In the Valley: w/ Chase N. Cashe
While in Los Angeles a few weeks ago | I had the pleasure of speaking with an amazing artist, creative entrepreneur and expert on all things wavy .. Chase N. Cashe. If you've never heard the name, I'm sure you've come across him one way or another. Whether he's producing for one of your favorite artists, to tweeting from a relative mindset of our generation or seen his brand: Can't Buy Respect floating through the Internet & in real life.
Chase granted me the pleasure of photographing his beautiful home and interviewed him on a vary of subjects. Check out the interview and gallery below:
Who is CHASE N. CASHE?
"Chase N. Cashe is a lifestyle, ya feel me? It’s a way of thinking for sure, for sure. It’s definitely just a thought process, not somethin' I can really be as a person. Music, entertainment and having a talent is something I feel like a lot of people have; I’m just in an industry where I had to figure out some sorta moniker to sell myself on it. There’s a certain side of my private life that I don’t want entertained with my art, simple as that! So, I rather be Chase cause it seems like it’s a personal name when you say it. When I was in my person as my real name (Jesse) I feel like people treated me a certain way as if they knew me and then when I created this world of my own and made people respect it, they treated me differently and I enjoyed it. Chase N. Chase is just a way of living. I grew up on James Bond so, that was something that always had interchanging characters but, they would all fit the same mold but brought their own style to it. Each James Bond got the same mission, but got they own babes, own whips, own tools but, the mission is to change the world and save the world. Lol So, I feel like that’s what I am more than anything."
- Why was music the field you chose to get into first over everything else you’re doing now?
"Coming from New Orleans everybody know music! I just truly believe that. New York knows Hip-Hop & we know MUSIC from a stand point of .. LIVE! That’s why people trust me and my opinion so much cause I come from a place that specializes in feeling. I specialize in that feeling of energy so, that’s just what I went with. I didn’t get into music from a technical stand point, I got into it just from being submerged in lifestyle. Cash Money over here, No Limit over here, Funky Pirate over here .. Aaron Neville, Charmaine Neville, Allen Toussaint, second lines. Who wasn’t in the band coming up in school? Or somebody you knew was in the band (on the snare drum, on the trombone, on the tuba etc.) I got into it cause I was an aficionado expert at music from living it. So, when I came out here there were people listening to music and I was living music. It was something that was just everywhere in New Orleans, so it was natural for me to get into."
- What are your plans in the Art/Design world?
"To inspire a generation of black people to stop having “Rooms To Go” and to stop thinking that furniture isn’t an investment. I’m trying to get people aware to their senses and the things they wake up with and understanding why you don’t need to have a room full of grey furniture because, that’s not inspiring. Just because you’ve seen how people decorate furniture on TV or how your grandma or mom decorated, they may not have had a heightened sense (or they might have had that but, probably didn’t have the money.) Just trying to make what I would consider: affordable mood affecting design for our people, whoever that is, mines specifically but, more importantly just people in the mindset of, “I work hard for this money, I know I gotta have these things around me for a long length of time, if I’m gonna buy a couch ..i’m gonna buy a COUCH!”
Even fuckin’ with AUUDI & AM8ER, even outside of me designing everything, me putting myself in a space as a person that made it in hip-hop knowing that’s what this generation of modern black kids is gonna be listening to (even if you don’t wanna be a rapper, you probably gonna be listening to rap trying to be a painter, a doctor whatever profession you tryna be) you’re gonna be listening to hip-hop. As a person who made it in entertainment, I feel like I’m best suited to be able to represent a client that’s inspired by that."
- In 2015, you released a book titled: "Life is Good & Generous Vol. 1" a book of motivational tweets. Do you plan to release another book of some sort?
"Yeah, I'm gonna put out an archive. A book of photos and then around the photos, (once again bringing up what Pharrell did) .. interview people who know me well and then get them to give their perspective on my life. I would like a third party approach or someone who witnessed me live my life instead of me just living it and trying to recount it."