We had the good fortune of connecting with ALEXIS KEMP and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi ALEXIS, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in Flint, Michigan. My teenage parents drove here to LA with me when I was a toddler. My father was a musician (lead singer & guitar player). My mom worked in medical billing. My mom is the logical one. Organized yet creative. Seemed to do everything all while dressing so chic & trendy. My father was a whimsical character and always made himself the center of attention. My parents would shoot music videos in our house. And had monthly garage sales with antique furniture & other items.
I’d attend my fathers concerts at the Roxy. We’d often entertain and celebrity musicians, singers, producers, songwriters, actors were always around.
My parents were working towards a record deal.

My upbringing had a massive impact on me & cultivated who I am today. I learned how to host events & cook. To be creative, but also be structured. To work hard, but smart. To know my worth and stand strong in my moral compass. Also almost every industry requires somewhat of a “show”. People want to be entertained.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m the Executive Chef & owner of So Divine Catering. So Divine Catering is a full-service boutique catering company that has been providing service to Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County & surrounding areas since 2005. We specialize in creating delicious, diverse menus that are artfully presented for dinner parties, celebrity events, holiday events, corporate events, store openings and any event that requires food.

We listen to each client’s preferences, dislikes & create a menu specifically for each event & client. This sets us apart because so many catering companies push packaged menus lacking in personality, flavor & presentation.

I’m most proud of my longevity. To be able to create, maintain and live off of a catering business for 18 years now is an amazing blessing!!

I got to where I am today by being tenacious, taking risks, cooking scrumptious food, working for great chefs that allowed me to learn my craft and having an amazing work ethic.

Getting to where I am today hasn’t been easy. Being an entrepreneur, An African American, female, chef has been very challenging. My field is dominated by white men. So, I’ve always advocated for equal pay & treatment.

The lessons I’ve learned are to prioritize the most important things daily. My needs change often & so should my expectations of myself. My purpose is to serve people, but also serve myself. I’ve found that by taking a moment to figure out what I need I can solve most of my problems. I’ve also learned that sometimes timing is the issue. Along the way I’ve learned to be patient, to ask questions, to ask for help, never be afraid to say no to experiences that don’t serve me or to people that don’t understand my boundaries.
That rest is a requirement in order to be a productive entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship can be lonely & that’s OK. Lean into it. Most people don’t understand this entrepreneurial life. Take the time to find your tribe. People that understand, support, love you and what you do are such blessings.

I want the world to know that I put my heart into every meal & event. That So Divine Catering was created so that I could have a career that I’m passionate about & express my artistry through food.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ile Bistro delicious Upscale Nigerian Food in Citizen Public Market in Culver City. Beautiful space!

Verse LA in North Hollywood has delicious food & cocktails as well as great live entertainment. Pretty space!

I Love Manhattan beach & Zuma beach in Malibu. I have lunch on the beach, listen to music.

MBP (Manhattan Beach Post) is one of my favorite restaurants. Order the Bacon, Cheddar Biscuits, Spicy Blistered Blue Lake Green Beans w/ Crispy Pork.

The Comedy Union in Los Angeles is a nice lounge/club that has some of the best African American Comedians. Great date night or girls’ night out.

Republique Restaurant in Los Angeles is delicious. A lavish assortment of house baked pastries, sandwiches, salads, omelets, & Fine dining menu for dinner.

Red Bird Restaurant, Downtown has beautiful outside gardens/courtyards to dine in. The food & cocktails are absolutely mouth watering.

The roof top bars at Mama Shelter in Hollywood & Perch Downtown are so fun! Beautiful views and yummy cocktails.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to my mom Lenease. She’s the reason I have such a strong work ethic. My Mom encouraged me to do what I love as a career & take risks.

Shoutout to my 15-year-old niece Lyric who grocery shops with me for events and helps me unload after events. She offers ideas on how I can decorate events. She is the best taste tester. Lyric is my biggest cheerleader!

Shoutout to my siblings Miles & Paloma who always support & encourage me! They work events when I need help. As well as give me advice on how to promote my business on social media.

Shoutout to my photographer/videographer & friend of 22 years Tashia who always pushes me to just keep creating, encourages me as a fellow entrepreneur & will shoot with me whenever she’s in town.

Shoutout to my friend of 26 years & food truck owner Maurice who talks to me about the ups & downs of the food industry, allows me to vent, encourages me to take the biggest risks and we help each other work events.

Shoutout to Chef Sherri Warren who hired me to work at her family’s Kosher catering company. I loved working with mostly women chefs. Sherri mentored me & taught me so much about event planning, decor, cooking for large events & working at different venues. Sherri would allow me to use her non-kosher commercial kitchen for events when I first started out.

Shoutout to the rest of my tribe. Thank you!!

Website: https://sodivinecatering.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sodivinecatering

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexis-kemp-6a784982/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sodivinela

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sodivinecatering

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/so-divine-catering-woodland-hills-2?osq=So+Divine+Catering

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