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Community Highlights: Meet Carmen Friday of Cooking With Carmen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmen Friday.

Hi Carmen, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My experience in the kitchen started at a very young age, I’ve always been happy being in the kitchen whether it was with my Great Grandmothers, Grandmothers or Great Aunts. I was all smiles just long as I was able to be in what I now call My Sanctuary. Baking is my first love, I baked my very first cake which was chocolate at the age of six with my Holly Hobbie Bake Oven. I also cooked my first meal which was fried chicken, can corn and string beans while in the 6th grade. I can honestly say that with being raised in a large and close knit family environment that included a long line of cooks sparked a flame within me. As a kid, It was always exciting for me to see how my family would come together no matter the occasion. Witnessing the fellowship and laughter but most importantly the love, the source and the driving force of food bringing people together. Never knew how much of an impact this would be in finding my purpose.

Over the years my passion for baking and cooking intensely grew, it was no secret to anyone that knew me that this is what I enjoyed doing creating and feeding everyone. Not once did it ever cross my mind to go into business and start selling my food, but not long after my best friend recognized the genuine and natural talent I had she encourage and demanded that I go into business. I could no longer ignore the reviews elicited from close friends, relatives, and community members who began to take notice and want more of what I would initially give away for free. Since my best friend demanded that I start charging for my work soon I birth Sweet Perfections in 2001, a pastry and 3-D Art cake bakery my first official business.

I ran my business for about two years and loved the creative part of the job. I was happy in the kitchen and had dreams of growing the business and making it not only a profession but an expression of my passion for baking. When I had to stop and get a more conventional job, it was emotionally heartbreaking but necessary.

I spent years 17 in retail management it was very demanding and a lot hard work. I learned a lot and I decided I needed to take those lessons and focus them more on something that makes me happy. I am a driven person and I realized that my energy was being wasted in a profession that did nothing for me except drain me emotionally and physically because I wasn’t working within my purpose. I needed to be creating wonderful food and baked goods and my thoughts kept going back to my passion until the message was far too loud to ignore. I put in my notice and walked away during the worldwide Covid-19 health pandemic of 2020 to birth Cooking With Carmen, to do what brings myself and others joy. That’s being in the kitchen teaching, feeding and creating food that is not only delicious but also eye appealing. I love bringing food to life and giving it a little twist.

My journey has left me speechless since the very beginning, the overall experience of being apart of a food network, recognition from The National Black Chef Association, A highlighted cooking segment on WFAA-8 Daybreak, Mentioning in Data News Weekly, Interview with Shoutout DFW, Mentioning in Dallas Morning News, and featured in a upcoming book release. I’m truly excited and looking forward to the next levels of my journey.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Absolutely not…outside of the typical day to day struggles whether it was financial, job related or just the weight of the responsibility of being a single mom of three, each and every struggle has developed and prepared me mentally, emotionally and physically. I’ve never been the type to run from a challenge, so as I look back I understand now that there were a lot of skills, knowledge and experiences that needed to be put in place before I could fully take on my role that would now be set before me. Having faith in God and knowing he makes no mistakes everything is according to his purpose and plan.

One last thing that I would like to leave you with, something that I think about consistently to help me understand my journey in a different perspective. One day while listening to Bishop T.D. Jakes and he basically said to sum it up, God is the Architect and he has the blueprint already drawn out, we’re the carpenters and our job is to make sure we find and use the proper tools he’s given us and follow the directions in order to build what he’s already laid out! POWERFUL!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I’m the owner and operator of Cooking With Carmen a skilled Culinary Artist with a passion for baking and creating both presentational exquisite and delicious meals. Also offering Cooking Instructing, Recipe Developing, Private Chef services, In-Home Personal Chef, Personal and Corporate Catering Services. I Travel for events and services that are needed.

I always get asked that question of what’s my specialty, lol I laugh because my response is “I’m ALL OVER the globe”! However, I’m a true experimentalist the reason for my tag line of cooking with a twist. I take pride in creating dishes and balancing the unthinkable from textures to flavor and plating. I love and live for my client’s reaction, the ultimate look of OMG and that WOW factor! Mostly ensuring that my clients and customers have a great experience every time from beginning to the end and to leave them with something memorable.

What does success mean to you?
I define success by a number of things, of course, we’re all striving for financial freedom of some sort but ultimately it’s the WHAT that’s going to drive you to success. First, you have to be Passionate about what you do or trying to do, if there’s no passion, then you’re going to lack Drive which will then affect your Consistency, that interns the inability of being productive or producing. All of these actions will determine just how successful you’ll become. Your Passion won’t allow you to give up, it’s your alarm clock. Your Drive is going to make you thirst for the knowledge, self development, Your Consistency is going to establish a routine it’s your fuel to keep you going. Last but not least ole’ Productivity that going to allow you to see and experience the accomplishments which will then remind you as to why you’re PASSIONATE about what you do! That’s Carmen Friday definition of success..

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Carmen Friday

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