Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Culinary Crack"

Peace Asiatics,

It's EARLY Saturday morning (about 6:30AM at the start of this writing), and I've spent a great deal of time in the past 24 hours in the kitchen making scrumptious vegan, vegetarian, and raw eats for the king and I. It started Friday afternoon, with my making my Creamy Baked Ziti (vegetarian) in preparation for a visit from the God's younger brother and his woman. Unfortunately, they never showed and now we're forced to eat this giant pan of bangin' ziti all by our lonesome (woe is us - giggle giggle) - that and my Passion Fruit Iced Tea. I also bought all the fixings, at the God's request, to throw together my Sweet & Spicy Kale Salad that so many in the community out here seem to love. But when bra-in-law never showed, I decided to make "Community Coleslaw" (a recipe I got from Afya Ibomu's "The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy), an easy old school raw salad I had been longing for for a couple days now. I took the Queen's recipe and freaked it (as I do all recipes) taking out a couple things and adding a little bit of this and that, that virtually nothing I prepare goes with out - namely, spike seasoning and cayenne pepper. In addition to coleslaw, I made what I can only call "Nutty Coconut Delight", another inspired creation; this one coming from Tassili's Raw Realtiy (a raw catering company out here in Atlanta) based on a Haitian fruit salad they do that is wayyyyyy better than my mere attempt to copy (for personal use only of course). But it was fun to have my go at other people's creations, because when I cater I have a strict policy to only serve me and my partner's own culinary inventions, so I don't delve into bringing to life other people's recipes too often.

I started a catering company some time in 2007, when I realized me and another Earth were quite often catering or vending food at various Nation and cultural community functions. I realized, "everybody else has a hustle, I might as well make food mine." I called it 7th Jewel Vegan Catering, with the idea that it would be a business that the Earths could and would embark upon. After working several events all by my lonesome I realized the Earth I had been working with had no real interest in making a living - or even making a hustle - by cooking and catering food - delicious, healthy vegan food I might add. And I realized that a sista I had worked on numerous community building efforts with was helping me with my catering more and more, taj anwar. And as I saw her become enthralled by serving up "culinary crack" (as she calls it) more and more, I thought maybe this Queen will provide the partnership I thirst for.

See, I COULD bust my butt and go it alone, but I have always been one who cherishes work done cooperatively more so than independently. I suppose it's because I'm not the most self-motivated person (it's not cause I lack ambition, it's cause I'm just so chill - smile - and working for others is infinitely easier than working for self), and having another person that I'm responsible for keeping my word to forces me to get on the job and stay on the job. (This is very much the reason why I love and am dedicated to the collective effort of The 14th Degree and Beyond as well.)

So my sista taj and I decided to partner up on this "food for a living" biz and changed the name to Feed The People Catering, to coincide with the organization that had brought us together - the FTP Movement. And having a partner who is business minded and image oriented has made a vast difference in the progression and gradual success of our small business. I would never have started a website as she did (maybe a facebook fan page, but not actually paid for a website - LOL), she got us a stunning 8 ft x 10 ft banner, matching business cards and postcards, even aprons with our logo on it!

There is just so much that my partner visualized needing in order to garner people's attention and add to our success that never even crossed my mind. So I build on this because working with taj has allowed me to realize that a partnership works best when both entities are complimentary in their differences - rather than having nearly the exact same interests and skills. When each person has the very same skills set and interests, they're doing the same thing and leaving major ground uncovered. On the contrary, when their differences fill in the gaps of the traits or skills one lacks it strengthens the partnership as a whole.

So to all those in business partnerships, even life partnerships, bond with those who allow your differences to compliment and complete, rather than divide, and you'll find you have a much smoother ride on your way to success!

Eboni Joy Asiatic

No comments: