Chef Eryka Perry has mastered the art of culinary dope-ness and flipping gourmet dishes in your kitchen. Her passion for food and helping others live a healthier lifestyle gives her a unique flavor to her overall brand. And did I mention she's also an #HonestVegan (same as last week's #FeatureThursday)? How she can sear the best scallops without tasting, I have no clue. To say the least, I've tasted some of her decadent dishes and let me publicly state that this woman will bless your soul.
Welcome Chef Eryka as this week's feature:
Name: Eryka Perry
Title: Executive Chef, CEO, Founder, Health Coach, Hospitality and Customer Service Specialist at "Not Just Catering" and Executive Chef at Michael's Restaurant
Location: Birmingham, AL
Background: Graduate from Culinard Culinary School with a degree in Culinary Arts and Business Management
YC: Let's start with your background. What's your story?
Eryka: I am Eryka E. Perry, I hail from the West Side of Heaven, most recently connected to two beautiful parents here in Birmingham, AL! Science and food have pretty much always been a major part of my life. I started cooking at the age of six and hanging around hospitals volunteering since the age of ten. Somewhere along the way my career aspirations switched from traditional medicine to more holistic health using food as a vehicle.
YC: How did you get into the food industry?
Eryka: I totally got into the food INDUSTRY by accident. I went to culinary school as a fun break from school (weird, I know). I was finishing up my biology degree and wanted a break. I was honestly shocked that people were actually making a career out of something I was doing for fun.
YC: Why do you love what you do?
Eryka: Ooo, that’s a good one. I love what I do because food is love. It really is magic. Since I made my first meal at six (breakfast in bed for my mom), I fell in love with the reaction of giving food. I love the science of it, knowing that you really are what you eat, that even your taste buds help signal your brain how to break down food cueing cravings for foods rich in nutrients that your body needs.
Then there is the science and magic of flavors. Combining flavors in mind blowing ways and figuring out new ways of presenting classic flavor pairings. Food really is all of the things, I just love love the exploring of all those things.
YC: What does the first hour of your day look like?
Eryka: The first hour of my day is TYPICALLY spent in silence. I get in at least 10-20 minutes of meditation, followed by journaling, followed by really visualizing and mentally rehearsing my day ahead. I truly believe that the first hour (and the last hour before bed) sets the tone for the day. [Check out her blog, Win the Morning, Win the Day]. It’s your first opportunity to show up for you and honor your personal commitments.
YC: Do you believe that the people you surround yourself with make a difference in your overall success?
Eryka: HECK YES. My friends push, pull, motivate, teach, support, and mold me. One, I really believe that you have to see what you want in order to achieve it (visualization is life). If the people around you aren’t doing and being greatness no matter how “motivated” you are, you will start to feel as though mediocrity is ok. The reverse is true if they are out here LIVING. Two, what you watch grows. If you are surrounded by/watching poverty, laziness, complacency, etc. those things will grow in you.
YC: Whew girl, that is GOOD STUFF right there. Those things will grow in you so we MUST be careful about who is surrounding us. Let's all highlight that part.
YC: Who inspires you the most, and why?
Eryka: Ooo, that is hard if you want just one name… “most” are always hard for me, because that usually changes. But if I can cheat a little, I will go back up to the last question and say for sure my friends and family. I really really am blessed to have some of the world’s dopest friends in the world. Like not just in my mind, my real life friends really are celebrated around the world for their dopeness. I am truly blessed.
YC: What's the main thing holding you back?
Eryka: Oooo another really good one. I don’t feel that I am “held back” everything happens in its time. I am learning, loving, and growing. I believe that everything I was created to be/do is already so. The universe is simply waiting for me to catch up.
YC: What's the biggest lesson you learned on your overall journey? Eryka: Ooo, “biggest” is one of those words like “most," it really is relative. Yeah, I am sitting here pondering so hard on this one. *skips ahead.* *comes back.* All of this right here. I have to choose me, develop me, trust me, love me FIRST.
YC: What's your definition of success? Eryka: My definition of success is being at a point were I can and do honor all of my commitments to me. So being able to show up without hesitation or limitation for the things and people that are important to me. I also believe that as I grow and evolve this grows and evolves with me.
YC: What's the best advice you would give to anyone striving to reach their goals?
Eryka: The best advice I can give is trust the process. Know that “failure” is apart of the process. Not knowing is ok, not knowing and pretending that you do is not ok. We have to acknowledge and admit our weaknesses in order to grow. SEEK HELP, be transparent, listen and act. Know that it ALWAYS starts with self. Self-development and self-care are KEY.
Wow, another awesome feature for all! Thanks Eryka for being on Yvonne Camille's #FeatureThursday series. If you want to learn more about Eryka, make sure to check out her social platforms listed below:
Facebook: Eryka Perry/@notjustcatering
For 2019 weekly meal prepping/catering info. and pricing, email Eryka's team at email@example.com.
Check back every Thursday for a new feature. If you know someone I should feature, email me via the Contact Page.
Sending love and positive vibes your way!