We had the good fortune of connecting with Shani Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shani, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Naturalle Kitchen came about during one of those middle of the night dreaming sessions. I have always had a passion for cooking and my family members and close friends have always been the ones to experience that, so I thought why not put it out in the open? Why not share this with the world?
So I began working and researching names, creating a mission statement, mapping out my plans and during this time the name Naturalle Kitchen came about and the rest is history.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am the owner & private chef behind Naturalle Kitchen where I specialize in creating a unforgettable dining experience. I started Naturalle Kitchen in the midst of the pandemic in 2020. Risky? Of course but I’m a risk taker and I love to be challenged. With Naturalle kitchen the goal isn’t to ask what are we eating? The goal is to have you wanting more. I create recipes that are uniquely made using ingredients that you’d never think to put together but you’ll be glad you tried it. I’m always up for the challenge when it comes to making people step out of their comfort zone when trying new food items because you may say that you don’t like something but have you ever had it made by me? That’s what makes Naturalle Kitchen unique and standout from the rest. Creativity in the kitchen is what fuels me, That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am now, taking risk with cooking not doing things the “traditional way”, If you know me you know that my personality is bubbly, eclectic, adventurous all of that goodness and more. And that’s what you get from my food I’m not boring so my recipes and dishes aren’t either. It wasn’t and hasn’t been easy starting this business being a self taught Chef many people don’t understand that just because you don’t have formal culinary training that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have those abilities and display them in your cooking. I’m always learning taking culinary classes, workshops, masterclasses learning different kitchen skills and techniques to bring forth to elevate my craft. That’s been one of the most challenging parts for me as well as putting myself out there. Like anyone else I get in my mind a lot and self-doubt man that’s a dream and confidence killer, being afraid to put myself out there almost stopped me from going after my dream but what helped me overcome was remembering why I started, remembering my love, remembering 9 year old me in the kitchen amazed at what I could do and the dishes I made that’s what keeps me going. So that’s the lesson that I’ve learned You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there just because someone else may be doing the same thing as you doesn’t mean that there doing it the way that you can. Their way is there’s yours is yours.
I want people to know that when you see Chef Shani and/or hear about me or Naturalle Kitchen just know that your taste buds won’t ever be the same, you won’t think about dining the same, rather sitting down and having me place a plate in front of you or recreating one of my dishes in your kitchen you’ll be wanting more.
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?
crazy this question is being asked (lol) I actually have curated list of restaurants categorized by the type of cuisine in my phone that I’m always sending out to friends and family. I add new restaurants as I visit and rate the food, drinks and overall atmosphere. It’s shared in my apple notes so they can always come back to it. I love vibrant scenery and places so anywhere that has bright colors, delicious drinks, great food and music I’m there. So anytime you’re in Houston it’s a good time I mean we have so many options for food it’s crazy. But if it’s a long trip I have a few places I’d definitely tell you to visit. You of course have to start with Brunch and mimosas that means we’re going to Toulouse. The brunch is delicious, live music on the patio, the atmosphere, drinks everything is top tier. Following brunch, we’d of course stop by the Galleria is it a trip to Houston if you don’t go to the Galleria? and who can say no to shopping?Then we’d take a trip to third ward and visit The Savoy. The Savoy is one of my favorite spots in Houston for good food and drinks! One of my favorite drinks is the sneaky link go try it and thank me later with some lamb nachos sooo good! Of course good music and chill vibes also so definitely meet me at the Savoy! For dinner there’s so many different places but I’ll name one of my favorites which is Grace’s! The food, the drinks, the mouthwatering cornbread! So good and worth it! There’s always something to do in Houston and somewhere good to eat you just have to be willing to travel and sit in traffic.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this to my late grandpa (papi) Cedric Clayborne. He’s the reason behind my love for cooking. My Papi was the most amazing cook, there was never a time that I went to his house and the aromatic scent of good food wasn’t flowing through the air. Any dish you could think of he could make it. One thing I admired about him was his ability to turn anything into a meal the term “use what you got” that was him! He could pick up whatever was left in the fridge, pantry, wherever and turn it from nothing into something. He was an amazing chef. A Cajun man who loved his family, friends, his Budweiser and filling our bellies. His legacy, his love for food is what keeps me going and helps me in the kitchen. I took a lot of notes from his book as I grew up and I’m so glad that I did.