Today we’d like to introduce you to Deah “DeDe” Berry Mitchell.
Deah is a freelance writer and part-time culinary instructor residing in Dallas, Texas. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has written for various school newspapers and magazines. After receiving her undergraduate degrees in physiology and sports marketing and a brief internship with National Football League, Super Bowl, she continued down a path leading towards a professional career in sporting events. As fate would have it, an unexpected layoff forced Berry Mitchell, a born teacher, to rely on her innate gifts for creating elegant meals at home and instructing others how to prepare the same. Also, during this time, she started a popup outdoor eatery and used this time to hone her cooking skills by gaining an instructor position at a gourmet food and cookware retailer.
Just prior to receiving her master’s degree in creative writing she began researching the origins of soul food. Berry Mitchell has worked professionally in the nonprofit development sector for over a decade, helping fund a number of subjects from higher education to health sciences. Hailing from Sherman, Texas, and like many Southern natives, she was raised in a family of traditionalists eating the very foods she’s researched. After moving to Houston, Texas and gaining influences from various cultures she began to incorporate those cooking styles into her own recipes.
When she’s not developing recipes Berry Mitchell, a self-proclaimed food-enthusiast, enjoys traveling, entertaining friends and family at home, planning events and writing. Deah volunteers with a local nonprofit, FEED Oak Cliff, and works within the community to increase awareness of food deserts and health equity.
This is Deah’s first book and she looks forward to penning more novels, everything in between food and fiction, in the near future.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I like to say that, “My road has been consistently inconsistent.” Meaning that some days are truly magical and other days will have me balled up in a fetal position questioning everything I thought I knew. In hindsight, my greatest obstacle became my greatest success. Being laid off truly liberated me. It was then that I learned to hone my culinary gifts, started traveling internationally regularly and reawakened my first love – a passion for writing.
Please tell us about your business.
I always struggle with the question of what do I do. I have so many irons in the fire! Lol! First and foremost I consider myself an artist. Whether I’m writing articles for magazines, or my books, teaching cooking, or organizing culinary experiences with an emphasis on Black culture, I am a creator. Anything that has my name attached to it will have that as a common thread. Soul of Dallas bus tours, Southwest Brunch Fest and my first book “Cornbread & Collard Greens: How West African Cuisine and Slavery Influenced Soul Food” are great examples of this.
What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
Live your life authentically and unapologetically. When I began doing what I felt was right (for me) and not following the crystal crowd, my purpose became clear. Friends were placed in my path that encouraged me and doors began to open up. Always be you.
- Cultural experience food tours $55
- Southwest Brunch Fest: ATL Edition $30 – $70
- Website: www.southwestbrunchfest.com : www.deahmitchell.com
- Phone: 214-207-1584
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @whatdedesays
- Twitter: @whatdedesays
Thaddeus “Sonny” Jefferson