We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Jonique and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, why did you pursue a creative career?
It was a way for me to express myself whilst making a loving at the same time. I take pride in being able to bring my visions to life. Plus it doesnt feel like work. That part I love the most.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It definitely was not easy getting to where I am now. In the beginning I felt misunderstood. Cooking traditional food in ways that people have for decades was boring to me. A lot of people didn’t understand a young black woman who wanted to cook and experiment with what they considered “ WHITE PEOPLE” food over New Orleans cuisine. In my mind food wasn’t attached to a race , I liked what I liked . Many lessons were learned along the way. Lessons like go with your gut, stand firm at all times and to never let ANYONE come between you and your vision for your life.
The boldness, colorfulness and confidence that is seen in my brand represents me so well. Its not just about the food. Being known as LetDatGirlCook was just about being a chef at first. Now .. people are noticing that the GIRL… ITS JUST AS INTERESTING AS THE DISHES SHE MAKES!
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?
Since my best friends already live in New Orleans we would def do the usual. That would be get some crawfish and a daiquiri. I would definitely invite them over for feast on their favorite dishes, but my way along with some of my signature cocktails. We would hit all the new hotel bars and see what their dinner menus are hitting for while being all dressed up. If there are any festivals or cool experiences that are in the city we would definitely go. We are all into artsy situations.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, I want to shout myself out. A woman who was often so misunderstood but never gave up on herself.
With everything in this world against me , I still prevailed and made it happen. Did I do it alone? No way!
Shout out to my family. My homegirl Dominique for believing in and helping me , even when I tried to push her away. My cousin Tony who didn’t hesitate when I asked to live with her to figure out what I was doing. My best friends Jessyka and Terese for all their support. Everyone in Baton Rouge and my city NEW ORLEANS who helped catapult my career into success. Every nail tech , hair stylist, or connection to any celebrity Ive ever fed. My little big bro Tyrus Thomas for helping me change my mindset and location when most needed.
My son Kaymen!! You are such an incredible being and driving force in my life and I love you more than I love myself. My family and friends who didn’t understand where I was trying to go with my career or life .. but sticking by me and helping me anyway.