We had the good fortune of connecting with Chef Chanell Hale and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chef Chanell, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business began the moment I realized that had just graduated from college, earned a Master’s in Social Work (B.A. in psychology), loans are coming, bills won’t stop just because I didn’t have a job yet, and the promise of employment security that I had invested in entering my freshman year of college, was a facade. As I sat in my 2 bedroom house of my last few college days, where my rent was $350. I realized I needed to look inward. I had already been searching for work for 6 months. sending my resume to every organization relative. That route was not working for me. I sat on my floor in my bedroom, looking in the mirror, and I asked God, “what is my purpose? What gifts do I have within me that I can make money from? What do I already possess that no one can give me or take away, that will allow me to sustain my life? I cried and cried and looking down at my hands, asking these questions over and over, when God spoke to me. I heard “cooking!” I was silent for a moment, and thought again, cooking? I would enjoy cooking in college for myself, my roommates, and friends, and would center much planning around what I am going to eat. My girlfriends and I would travel during spring break, which was also my birthday week. I would take on the duty of finding a delicious restaurant for us to visit. After trying my food and anyone else’s who didn’t mind sharing, I would have all of these ideas about what I would do to enhance the recipe for my taste and would do just that when I went back to school. Cooking became a fun meditation for me. I had also recently lost my brother to senseless gun violence in Chicago and realized how much cooking assisted me with coping with such a traumatic loss. I began to love cooking and the entire vibration of it raised my frequency. I loved how cooking made me feel, but what I loved most was how I was able to transfer this good energy into my food and share all those good vibrations with those who ate my food! In this very moment, I realized the impact food had already had on my life and how I should share my food with the world! I thought to myself, “you should open a restaurant!” I immediately began to create a menu. I worked on it all day, non-stop. The style of the menu was diner vibes, from “early bird gets the worm” specials to your classic family style recipes, like philly chicken sandwich with steak fries and salmon cakes. The menu consisted of all the dishes that were already approved throughout my collegiate journey. I shared this menu with my friends and family and many said the menu sounded good, but didn’t understand where I was coming from just weeks after receiving my M.S.W. I couldn’t let that moment discourage me. I was feeling so sure that starting a restaurant was the best thing for me. I kept thinking about the idea of getting started with opening a restaurant and quickly realized that I did not have the resources, financially or the knowledge to start a restaurant business. That realization didn’t keep the idea off my mind though. I would continue to look for work and accept interviews when possible. I started working mid summer, after graduation, but continued to think about my restaurant idea. I would even dream about how the space would look and the vibes I would share with my community. One day, I woke up out of my dream and realized that I could start a catering company to keep the dream of opening my restaurant alive, in that moment Dreamyvents Catering was realized. I learned that with catering, I could make something out of nothing, working on getting different people to try my food and learning more about the food service industry, all while practicing my craft. I felt so fulfilled realizing that I would be able to start a catering company with little resources, thought sometimes feeling incapable of truly getting this business to grow into what I wanted. Always keeping the Serenity Prayer in mind, I did what I could, with what I could and would focus on adding more equipment, recipes, services, and resources as I went along. Starting my business was such an empowering experience because one day I had a thought, I spoke on my thought and saw it in my dreams. I was able to visualize my steps in a different realm and with the grace of God, I was able to realize this thought into my real life experience. The more I would cook for people allowed me to have so many opportunities to learn, travel the world, and be courageous! It feels so good to see a goal through and experience so much beyond that by being consistent and truly focusing on doing what you love, no matter how random or wild it may sound to someone else. I feel so good to have had faith in God and in myself. I know cooking is more than eating and sharing my food, it is as powerful as the inner work I focus on and strive to do, because that energy is transferable. The more I continue to work on myself, the better my food and business will be and that is something that keeps me going everyday, because I will always be rooted in growth and self reflection. I eventually would leave my job as a social worker in 2017 to primarily focus on my mobile catering and traveling personal chef business. It truly feels good to be able to sustain myself, enrich lives, and enjoy my life doing what I love and sharing so much love around the world.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As I continue to grown in my chef life journey, I am able to experience the world, different culture, meet new people. This journey has been truly enlightening and extremely rewarding. My food is not merely something you eat, it is something you experience, something you do. Memories are created around my food. I love creating food in intimate settings, as I am able to get more creative and take my time with presenting the food. I am growing in my desire to present the food in a way that will inspire the experience of the one who is eating it. I believe what sets me apart from others is my true desire to utilize food as a way to offer mental check-ins with people. A moment to slow down and enjoy life, for everyone. I love to use my platform to share my food for free, especially with the kiddos and people without homes. I want the love that is in my heart to extend my food and be transferred into real life energy. I want to create a new wave of the entire food experience, from the dinner table to therapeutic measures. I have been able to elevate in my journey because of my measurement of success. I value peace, happiness, inner work, self awareness and growing at my own pace. Because of this, I am successful. My growth is attributed to my experiences, which allows me to see, taste and more food. When I travel or go to a restaurant, I am inspired to grow, and that helps me in the professional areas of my business. My journey in business has not been easy, it has been difficult at times, but it is all worth it. Those difficult moments are full of opportunity to enhance myself, it becomes free knowledge when I tap in and pay attention to the bigger picture. I’m okay with challenges because they help me stay ready for future instances. I overcome the challenges that I come my way because I know that life is balanced with very high highs and very low lows. Instead of always rejecting them, I grow when I accept what is and become more flexible in thought and action. I want the world to know that I want to share more than food, I want to share love and great energy. I want people to have unforgettable experiences while enjoying my food! I want everyone to know that I am available to travel local, domestic, and international! I also want everyone to know how important it is to do more of what you love, until all you do is all you love! It is extremely important to build a life you imagine, because your imagination is a free blueprint! Dreamyvents Catering will grow into a restaurant and I thank everyone who has helped me to build. everyone who has tried my food, and everyone who has ever referred my business and said a good word about my food and service. I’m forever grateful! I also want you all to know, I am in the Favorite Chef competition where I have the opportunity to receive $50,000 and be featured in a sponsored double page spread in one of the largest cooking publications in the world. I would love your vote! You are able to vote 1x Daily until the end of the competition!
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?
If I’m in LA and my best friend visited me, on the drive back from LAX, we would stop at Pearl’s Finest teas off Melrose in Hollywood. I would get the Horchata tea and encourage my best friend to get something different so I could try something new haha. We would definitely spend the week visiting all of the beaches, Malibu, Santa Monica, Playa del Ray, Long Beach, and more if time permits. On the nicest evening of the week, we play dress up and make dinner reservations at Perch. We would enjoy sparkling wine with our dinner and go for desserts as well. We would visit a few dispensaries and I would look for inspiration to infuse a few meals. I would prepare an infused brunch and dinner, on different days. I would love my best friend to experience more delicious food, so we would have a casual chill night after a beach day at Bossa Nova Brazilian Restaurant. Before my bff left town, we would visit a vineyard and take a walk down Hollywood Blvd. I would have to take her to the random late night restaurant that has the best baklava on the strip! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow! For sure! I am inspired, loved, and encouraged by so many people!!! Though my brother is not physically here with us. I feel so much of him within and around me! My brother Al was truly the most courageous, strong, and fearless person I know. Al was so true to himself and being able to experience him truly enhances my life every single day. I’m forever inspired by you Al! I am so grateful that we were able to create this everlasting, unconditional bond that truly carries me through life. You uplift, strengthen, and help me grow everyday bro and I love you so much. Thank you my Angel.
Other: https://favchef.com/2021/chanell-hale to vote for me as your Favorite Chef!
Food Image Credits – Anthony Naylor – AN 2 Productions/Vision Ent Group Kelly Clarskon Feature from Kelly Clarkson Show Children’s Cooking Class Photo – Lateef Idris Dinner Table Setting Photo – Maleah Land