Tahisha Solages is a cook who loves to sing, not a singer who loves to cook. Though singing is a passion, she considers herself a chef first and foremost. And she’s not just any chef. The now-culinary star appeared on the competitive cooking reality show “The Chew”, and won laurels for her spicy wings. She currently owns and runs her personal chef and catering company, Encore Events. In her spare time, the star chef and St. John’s University graduate loves playing the piano, and being a wife and mother.
Kreyolicious: Who was the best cook you knew growing up?
The best cooking you growing up was my grandmother vest and Elsa. My grandmother practically raised me. But my mom and my dad worked long hours at work, she was the one will basically migrated from Haiti to raise me and my siblings, she gave me one of the greatest Gifts of language being that I’m fluent in Haitian Creole and she taught me all the domestics of being a woman , how to care for your household such as cooking and what it means to be a woman of Distinction, and value… I’m forever grateful.
Kreyolicious: Were you ever a bad cook at any point of your life, chile?
No. I wouldn’t say that I was ever a bad cook. I learned at a very young age from the age that I can remember since around like 8 years old my grandmother would teach me little things like how to skin off of chicken, how to hold a knife, how to cut an onion without your eyes burning and crying. So, it definitely was a process in learning.
Kreyolicious: Was it a difficult process for you to go on “The Chew”?
No, it was not a difficult process to go at all. I actually went there my first time as a guest like an audience member. While I was there one of the Producers were taking people in for a cooking contest that would be featured the day before Super Bowl. Upon being one of the finalists I want the competition and from there the door was open for me, and I walked right in and by the grace of God. And since being on the show, I just allowed my personality and the gifts that God gave me to make way for me and just what with the flow. Funny thing is, I had just quit my job that December before going on “The Chew” because I didn’t like what I was doing and I prayed to God to not allow me to continue a job into a new year that I didn’t like. I knew that my life had no purpose, and that I had a great personality and I knew that I had a purpose to be somewhere else…not behind a cubicle for the rest of my life. Upon making that decision and taking a leap of faith, this door open for me—and here I am.
Kreyolicious: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your cooking?
That it resembled my personality flavorful, fun, bold!
Kreyolicious: Is creating a cookbook part of your plans as a celebrity chef?
Absolutely! One of my goals is to definitely have a cookbook. One of the challenges of being Haitian American Chef who uses other culinary Cuisine tactics is that we don’t write or recipes down so I am learning to overcome that challenge by actually writing my recipes down and “The Chew” definitely gave me a introduction of how to do that and to really just put my thinking into my cooking and actually sharing with other people.
Kreyolicious: Where eating is concerned…If we didn’t have spoons or forks, we probably could make do with our fingers. But when it comes to cooking, what instruments and ingredients can you not do without?
A good knife and fork, and fresh ingredients for my spices like salt, parsley, Italian seasoning, Scotch bonnet peppers, ginger, lemon and olive oil.
Kreyolicious: I was reading about your almond rum cake? Care to share the recipe with us?
[Laughter] I would rather not. Simply because it is a recipe that is unique to me, and I haven’t released the actual dish to the public yet other than close family and friends. But once I do, then maybe I will think about sharing the recipe. Just so you know, the recipe have a lot of secret spices and ingredients that I use to make it perfectly fluffy and very tasty!
Oh!…Now…If the Tahisha Solages were lecturing a class of aspiring chefs right now, what advice would she give to those in the class who aren’t performing well about becoming better?
I would really ask the chef to think hard about their purpose for being here in my class was it forced for them to be there or something that they truly believe that they can become. I will also remind them that life is a journey full of learning. One can never finish learning. However, if you have the foundation of the faith and belief that you can do it then this class will be a life changing experience for you.
Above: Another Tahisha Solages culinary creation.
Kreyolicious: Where do you see yourself taking your career?
A far as God will allow me to go. I am working hard and doing my part to have an inspiring and growing career with each and every opportunity that I get to take hold of I take advantage. I am truly blessed and honored for the opportunities that I have had and for the doors that have opened for me. It was not always easy and it will never be easy or as easy as would want it to be but then again in life nothing good really comes “easy”. I truly believe with faith that one has in God, and with hard work and dedication great things will happen. There will be tests, there will be strong holes, there will be mountains, but overcoming the mountains is priceless. It’s really those experiences that carves us and make us who we are as we are tested. Last year, I was working at a hospital and I always thought I would become a CEO of a hospital being that my studies and my education at St. John’s University was completed in the degree of healthcare administration. I always loved helping people and I will always love helping people and have learned that you can help people in many different facets. I hated my job…where I was….working behind the computer for eight to ten hours sometimes a day…and yes the money was great but again, I didn’t feel like I was living my purpose. [With] hard work, dedication—there’s really no limit as to where one person can go, so I’m really proud of this decision that I made because if I never had to quit my job and left the cubicle I would have never known what was outside that box. I would be limiting myself.
Kreyolicious: So true…
I encourage and mentor many people and I always tell them to go for their dreams. I came to a point in my life where I felt like I was stopping myself with my own words and telling myself to go for my dreams when I was just stuck at a cubicle because I felt that it was making me stable at this job that I had but there’s so much more. I had a hunger to be and to do more than what I was doing. I wanted to live my purpose—not to say that people sitting behind a cubicle and not living their purpose…But I for one didn’t feel like I was. Despite of the belief that you have to become a doctor, or a nurse, lawyer, or engineer to become something in life, I took that leap of faith because I believe God has something great for me. I have no regrets, so my encouragement to everyone reading this interview would be to go for what you love pray about it, and then be about it!