We had the good fortune of connecting with Chef Cookie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chef, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
My background and upbringing definitely had an impact & shaped who I am today.
The nostalgia, love, joy or pain I feel when I play certain music I grew up on is everlasting. I realized it all recently in a moment of reflection.. It ALL makes sense in the grand scheme of things.
“I’m from VIRGINIA, Where ain’t shii to do but cook” -Pusha T
Petersburg stand up LOL!
I was made out of love by young teen parents Toni & Andre’. Naturally my grandmothers Gwen & Ernestine stepped in and raised me. I learned so much by watching them.
That knowledge gained while being under my grandmothers care who absolutely loved to cook & host was imperative to my taste & growth. At the time it was just my way of life. My Nana’s (Ernestine) home was picturesque. We love a lot of the same gold accents and china. We actually share the same taste in a lot of things. I’ll also keep you on your toes as well. I learned that from the best of them lol!
She cooked everything from scratch. I’m talking homemade rolls, setting the table properly, with flower arrangements, fresh squeezed lemonade, & sun tea, all white living room suites, with buffets lined with all kinds of goodness. Sweet potato pie, lemon cake, seafood salad, wine fountains, assorted nuts, olives & cheeses. I’m talking a SPREAD.
People may call it the “old fashioned way” but it’s the only way in my world. Grandma Gwen, was a Registered Nurse in her earlier years. Later she went on to be the chaplain at the hospital & an evangelist who would consistently feed the hungry. Not only did she feed the hungry she fed her family. There wasn’t a time that you’d go to Gwens house and there wasn’t food cooking on the stove or bread baking. The first thing my family would say coming through the door was “Gwen what did you cook?” That was the story of her life. Serve God, love your brother/sister and do good in the eyes of the Lord. She instilled the good in me.
God rest her soul
My grandmothers cooked, daily and hosted family gatherings often.
It comes so natural for me cook & to create vibes..
Cooking is a labor of love. Don’t cut corners or you’d be cutting someone’s experience short. “If you take short cuts in life you might miss something. “ my Aunt Kim used to tell me. She would take the long route everywhere & just enjoy the ride. God knows I miss her. The good, the bad & the ugly is all apart of the process in getting you to your provision & your manifestation. Trust God.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Art, is LOVE and Compliments of Cookie, has a lot of love to give as it relates to the culinary world. It keeps me very busy. To be able to express myself artistically is a feeling of freedom that is unmatched by anything.
My style of dress, the way that I talk, how I decorate my place, the way that I plate my food & the ingredients that I use, are all a rendition of my life’s expression.
What sets me apart from others, is me being comfortable in my own skin. I’ve been training for this career my whole life tucking away little gems from my upbringing subconsciously.
Of course, I have my own complexes, as anyone does. However, I’m very sure of myself and the je ne sais quoi that I possess. I am a self taught natural.
One thing I’m most proud of and excited about is actually honing in on my culinary skills and building a brand sustainable enough to move across the country, set up shop and actually do pretty well and make a name for myself in Hollywood. I knew it was big when Snoop Dogg, started being a fan of the girl. He loves just about everything that Compliments of Cookie has to offer. One day I was closed. I got the call from his assistant looking for food for him, I was holding on to my composure for dear life LOL! He was ordering off of my UberEats the whole time. I was so excited to know he loves the chicken, Blackened Salmon, Mac & cheese, yams, fried rice EVERYTHING LOL!
My roster is definitely star studded, Chris Brown, Future, Strick, Tee Grizzley, Metro Boomin, T-Shyne, Shy Glizzy, Dixon, DaniLiegh, Inayah, Blue Face, & Lazy Bone, Sony, & Def Jam to name a few. I provide set food, & private dining services.
It wasn’t an easy road getting to where I am professionally. It was definitely blood sweat, tears & more tears, but I serve an awesome God that sits high and looks low.
All of the challenges I faced throughout life shaped me into the woman that I am today. I don’t regret any of my experiences. If I had to redo this life all over again I’ll choose Toni & Andre again to come into this life. Without their story mine wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t be this exact person talking to you today.
What I want the world to know about Compliments of Cookie is that I operate from a place of love, by paying homage to my culture in the most beautiful way possible while honoring my roots through culinary expression. The years and years of experience from my ancestors embedded in my DNA and I want to share my story with the world.
This is a story about perseverance, hard work, love, taking chances and believing in yourself. Just make it fashion
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I absolutely love it when my people come to visit me in Hollywood. When asked I always suggest THE HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT for hotel accommodations. I had the pleasure of doing a week staycation @ The HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT in one of the Cabana rooms by the pool.
I had the time of my life, laying under the shade of the largest most beautiful palm trees California, has to offer sipping strawberry & jalapeño tequila cocktails by their scenic & iconic pool.
One day during my stay I didn’t even leave the hotels property because the vibes this place gives is unmatched. There was no need to. It’s definitely the perfect place for rest and relaxation.
You can’t leave the city without going to my favorite neighborhood hangout Te’Kila on Hollywood Blvd. A lot of Hollywood’s locals come & hangout at this restaurant bar /grill. I love the carnita sliders & the Cadillac margarita. It’s topped with a little bottle of Grand Marnier. So good.
You could visit this place during the day or night, either way you’re sure to have a fun chill, experience.
Next stop Malibu beach! We’d ride down Sunset Blvd through Beverly Hills, Bel Air, & Brentwood all the way to Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). The views are insane plenty of times for good conversation & photo ops.
While in Malibu, you must go to Malibu Seafood to eat. There’s a cartoon lobster on the sign that kinda looks Mr. Krabs lol. That’s when you know you’ve made it to the right place.
Guests eat outside on the deck enjoying the oceans breeze & views of Malibu’s beautiful beach. I always order the fish & chips (Alaskan cod) it’s so fresh & crunchy don’t forget the tarter sauce. Phenomenal.
After eating through the city for the past few days now we need to exercise.
What better way to burn all of those calories off then to train with Mens Health top 40 trainers of all time DonAMatrix Training on Melrose Ave? Don is a day 1 from my hometown Petersburg & he’s doing big things here in Hollywood.
Don, is personal trainer to some of your favorite stars! Check him out and see how amazing the bodies are that he’s transformed & subscribe.
Another alternative would be Runyon Canyon. Every visitor has to do Runyon at least once. When you’re in the mood to hike, climb, run etc & want to be outside in nature instead of the gym then Runyon is the place for you.
I’m not going to say that it isn’t challenging and I didn’t want to quit several times. However, once you get to top and walk down you can feel the breeze cooling your skin off and you actually feel accomplished. The views are sick from the top, you see the whole entire city it feels like..While up there enjoying the view you & your homie, lover, or friend can place a lock symbolizing your love on the gate midway during the hike, just like they do in Paris. Last time I went it was hundreds attached. I loved to see it.
Sometimes there isn’t enough hours in a day in Cali but a really cute one day trip to Catalina Island is top Knotch to me. We’d drive to the Long Beach, port and board the Catalina Express (You can preorder the tickets ) . It’s about an hour or an hour and a half boat ride but a beautiful one nonetheless. You can sit on top of the boat and feel the ocean breeze or hangout in the cabin. Either way it’s smooth sailing. Once you arrive to the island, you’d of course check in your lodging and hit the streets lol. There are golf carts that you travel the island with and take the 20 something mile tour. Views are insane of course. The food was fresh and prepared for us so beautifully..It’s so charming there and beautiful. Must see.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to dedicate my shout-out to the love of my life, my husband Shae Skies. I’m grateful for your love and dedication to me, & our family, for you believing in me & pushing me to greatness. Your love is healing. Your love is King. I thank God for your life
To my daughters Zoie, Riley, Charlie Rose,
You are worthy Queens that can achieve anything. I can’t wait for the world to experience your creativity. I love each & every one of you rockstars. Don’t dumb yourself down for anyone.
In honor of Stori Skies
Long Live DaQueen
Instagram: @1ChefCookie : @ComplimentsofCookie
Yelp: Compliments of Cookie
Other: Compliments of Cookie on UberEats