SOUL FOOD CATERING | FOOD DELIVERY | ARLINGTON | GRAND PRAIRIE
Chef Steven Hodge is an entrepreneur who owns and operates a number of businesses both online and off. The Grand Prairie Cookie Company, Grand Prairie Microgreens, Wine Glass Candles, Mortar And Pestle Shoppe, an online Travel Agency as well as creating his own hot sauce brand.
As A Culinary Professional, I have experienced the many sides of the food industry. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. The industry is volatile and extremely fickle, and like a wild stallion, you have to know and understand how to bridle and control this animal we call The Food Industry.
My Story: I feel very fortunate at times to grow up in this industry. My mom owned a cafe in Dallas when I was third grade, and my grandfather owned several businesses as well in San Francisco.
But a little earlier than that, I remember being in my grandmothers kitchen, watching her and my grandfather make us breakfast, lunch and dinner. Although none of my elders graduated high school, they taught me lessons that no school could or has ever taught anyone. ‘How to become successful when all the odds are stacked against you’.
With the skills she learned working as a lunch lady, and with only $500, my mom opened and started what was then called, ‘The Bus Stop Cafe’, bringing in customers from around the West Dallas Area, long before the area became the food destination that it is today, with my step grandfather in the kitchen, the spot became very popular in no time.
Fast forward a few years, and traveling west to San Francisco for what I thought was a summer break, I found myself working in my biological grandfathers hamburger restaurant, BANKS BURGERS.
Don’t feel that you need to have tons of credentials to open a restaurant or sell food. My grandfather, only possessed with a sixth grade education, not only owned one of the most popular joints in the San Fran area, he also owned a soul food restaurant, liquor store, dry cleaners and apartment complex, and I did say “OWNED”. So if he can, You CAN!
So anyway, I worked for my grandfather during the times that I was off during my summer breaks from college in Texas and North Dakota and learned so much with them as well.
Television vs. Reality: The Industry Has Also Become Extremely Diluted With Hype and Fantasy. From the angry yelling characters you see on the cable channels to the food competitions that you see on the networks, it’s all hype and not what you will find in 99.9% of kitchens around the planet.
Granted, I have developed some great friendships and become friends with some very colorful characters from my time in culinary school till now, not one is like what you see on television. The kitchen sometimes can be likened to the basketball court, ping pong table, or poker game, there is competition with only one spot at the top. Cooks compete for status in the kitchen, when it come to raises as well as rank. However, at the end of the day, it’s always a team effort when getting food out to the customers, ‘why we do what we do!’
I owe a great deal of gratitude to the instructors I had while in culinary school, some of the most talented people in the industry, I learned a great deal. Thank You All