Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Williams.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Amber. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Ever since I was little I always used to help my mom in the kitchen. Holiday season meant a 3-day preparation session that begins with me sitting down with my mom and orchestrating a holiday from start to finish. I fell in love. From there, countless hours were spent in front of the TV on Saturday mornings watching cooking shows on public access stations and being simply amazed at the passion and joy these TV chefs exuded.
So I started to explore that artistry more and really became observant of the comradery that was related to sharing a simple meal with a loved one and at the age of 10, I decided I wanted to create that atmosphere for people the rest of my life. My original plan was to obtain my business degree from a 4 yr institution, then go to culinary school, then start this thriving business and live happily ever after. Well, in reality, I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Business management from Grambling State University, all while selling sliced cakes, brownies, pies and Louisiana’s staple, pecan candy, just to have gas and junk food money, not knowing I was testing out my future empire.
I graduated in May 2011 and found out the Culinary school was not as cheap as I had anticipated, so I took a step back, began a career in corporate America, hoping I’d save enough money to leap out on faith.
Well, that money never came but as I perfected my craft and did small catering jobs while working full time, my flame for cooking progressively grew. One day, I realized one entity was going to suffer for the success of the other, so I had to choose, Money or Passion-I chose my Passion. In September of 2014 I launched Le Rouge Cuisine Food Company and in August of 2015, I officially quit corporate America with no clients and no money saved-literally a dollar and a dream. I named my company “Le Rouge Cuisine”, which translates to “The Red Kitchen” in French, to pay homage to my creole roots in Baton Rouge where my mom is from. This eclectic and flavorful culture fueled the fire to my culinary passions and I wanted to share that with the world.
I began networking, working with other chefs, perfecting my skills and shaping a business I could be proud of. And to this day, I’m blessed to say I’ve had over 400 clients, worked under TD Jakes’ personal chef, was acting sous Chef to Chef/Comedian Nanette Lee and had the pleasure of feeding a plethora of people from city officials to Fortune 500 awardees… but Chef Amber is not done. My goal is to continue to build my empire, educate and empower Millennials to not be afraid of the kitchen, create jobs and open the world up to my creole fused creations. My whole journey is owed to the grace and guidance of God and I owe my all to Him!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth!? What’s that? Lol, I see a new obstacle or area of opportunity every week. It started off as financial problems due to not saving before I took my leap of faith… Then realizing it takes money to make money and making smart marketing strategies to build and promote my brand… It’s finding (or not finding) trustworthy help and employees to help with larger events…
Learning how to train clients so they respect your craft, trained to pay invoices on time and trained to not make last-minute orders lol… It’s trusting our vision when nobody else does… Being your biggest cheerleader when family and friends don’t even understand the entrepreneur grind… Or getting that first bad review and trying to pick yourself up from beating yourself down so you can move on to the next client… It’s always something but these times are here to help and not harm.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Le Rouge Cuisine Food Company – what should we know?
So I am the Chef/Owner of Le Rouge Cuisine Food Company. We produce Creole-fused dishes for any and all special events in the DFW Metroplex. I have to say my signature dish is our Le Rouge Shrimp & Grits, it is eclectic comfort food at its best and you can eat it for Breakfast, Lunch or dinner-personally one of my favorite dishes.
I’m most proud of my resilience. I’m a self-taught Chef and it’s so many great classically trained chefs out there and it can get discouraging sometimes but my cooking is based purely from the heart and soul, no textbooks and after 3 years of business, I can take pride in that.
I’m set apart by the experience I provide. I’m not just your Chef, I end up being the homegirl, friend, supporter and familiar face to the people I serve and come in contact with. And when I serve you, you know you’re getting a piece of me with every bite. And I feel my style of cooking as “Feel good elevated comfort food”-it’s just good for the soul!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
God, first and foremost, nothing would be possible without him. My family for putting up with and going along with my crazy, off the wall dream My friends, sorority sisters and Grambling family for attending all my events and allowing me to make them guinea pigs.
My photographer/brand manager/friend-Jaren Collins of JCI Creatives. We have plotted and schemed countless days and nights just to make ourselves notable names in Dallas. To the organizations who have allowed me to serve their guests and include me in their visions-The Prototype Life, Toast for Charity, Debonair society, Unapologetic Inc., and so many more.
My resident bartender, Asha of “HeyMsBartender” brand for being so professional when we do event collaborations, and taking care of me when I need some liquid courage during events! Can’t forget my crazy trainer and anger translator, Bravo- JAM!!! He really started my passion for clean eating finding a great balance between healthy eating without sacrificing flavor. He’s the reason I’m also “part-time” vegan!
And to every prayer, word of encouragement, compliment, Like, Share, repost from my cheerleaders near and far that’s what keeps me going.
- Website: www.enterlerouge.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick-Farm Ambassador of Bonton Farms, BMW Diversity Team, Nannette Lee, Kiana Pierce of Pippy’s Pix, Chef Gabi McBay, Millennial Chef Showcase, Jaren Collins, JCI Creatives, Kali & Darryl Smith, Rhedeont Photography