This week, our guest food editor, Sandy Ho, put something special together to highlight six Los Angeles-based chefs. We are so honored to share the work of these incredible creators and hope you will join us in support of their initiatives. Here, Sandy chats with Yonette Alleyne, Owner and Chef of Caribbean Gourmet, on how she got her start, what makes her move, and how she has been affected by this incredible and unprecedented moment in time.
SH: How has Covid 19 and the Black Lives Matter movement affected you and your business?
YA: In regards to how COVID-19 has affected my business has been mixed results. While it has taken away any immediate catering jobs, it pushed me to pivot to keep my business open and running. I had to return deposits for weddings and other large events and to date no new bookings. My weekend Farmers’ Markets, had locked out prepared food vendors for weeks. Now we’re back with many changes and less revenue. However, pivoting to meal deliveries has been a great resource. Very supportive longtime customers and lots of new ones.
SH: What empowers you to wake up in the morning and what keeps you up at night?
YA: My family empowers me to wake up in the morning. They are very supportive of my dreams and are helping me to realize them. I’m also driven for success and as an immigrant, I enjoy sharing my cuisine with all the different demographics. What sometimes keeps me up at night is being concerned about how soon will I raise enough money, to open up a brick and mortar restaurant.
SH: Tell us about one dish that changed your opinion on food/people/love/ingredients.
YA: Creating my version of Vegan curry, has made me realize how many Vegans are out there looking for delicious options. It has encouraged me to become Vegan and experiment with creating many more choices. Even meat-eaters are ordering the delicious Vegan fare. People love flavor and would try almost everything to get it.
SH: Where do you see yourself in the future of food for the world?
YA: In the future of the food world, I see myself as a creator of many more delicious healthy Vegan dishes, in Caribbean cuisine and others. Also, I think I will make a positive impact with the creation of my planned cookbook.
SH: How can we stay up to date with what you’re doing?
YA: You can stay up to date with what I’m doing through Instagram and my soon to be launched website. Also, I will have a full-time food booth, coming soon to Blossom Market Food Hall in San Gabriel, California.