Cooking is therapeutic for me. Coming from a family of great cooks, it comes quite naturally. My maternal grandmother was a very successful caterer in Memphis for over 30 years. Her work was featured in Ebony magazine and she was well known for catering to the "high society". I learned how to cook by watching my mother, who learned from my grandmother. Grandmama transitioned in 2004, and years later, "Legacy by Chef Rachel Denise" was created as my way of honoring and carrying on her legacy; as well as creating one of my own.
I started cooking full meals at 8-years-old; however, it wasn't until 2004 that I discovered my passion for creating delicious, healthy edible art. In February 2004, my 2-year-old son was diagnosed with autism (he happened to be born on my grandmother's 89th birthday, just as she said he would). Life changed instantly and my culinary journey officially began, as I was a mommy on a mission to creatively feed my extremely picky eater healthy, innovative, flavorful meals.
It wasn't until around 2012 that I started posting pictures of dishes I'd prepared via social media and was overwhelmed by the major response received with a picture of the first pizza I ever made. "Legacy" was born soon thereafter. At the time, I had no formal training - I just loved to cook.
In 2017, I enrolled in Escoffier for the Culinary Arts and in 2018, I graduated with academic honors, officially becoming "Chef Rachel". It feels good to have people who enjoy what I bring to the table and support my dreams. Each time I cook, I think of my grandmama and pray that she is proud of the legacy I am creating and I give thanks for my son - it is because of him that I realized my passion for cooking.