The DMV Daily had the chance to chop it up with DMV Chef Preddie from Bladensburg, MD. Chef Preddie is the owner of PreddieCooks, LLC which has sub businesses PlatesbyPreddieCatering and PlannedbyPreddieEvents. Her business creates menus and events based on themes and holidays, offering Private Dining, Catering, and intimate Picnic services for all clients. Events planned are based on themes to create an overall experience that’s Preddiememorable.
In April of 2020, Chef Preddie joined One More Plate, INC as a chef to provide meals and service to men and women who live in homeless communities throughout the district. In June 2020, she also donated 3 boxes of sandwiches for protestors who participated in our Peaceful Protest March at Malcolm X Park. Learn More About Chef Preddie and her venture as a chef down below.
Q: Did you go to culinary school?
Chef Preddie: Yes. Monroe College located in New Rochelle, NY
Q: What credentials did you earn through your culinary studies?
Chef Preddie: BBA in Hospitality Management, AAS in Culinary Arts
Q: Why did you decide to become a chef?
Chef Preddie: I love creating something out of nothing and I love sharing that experience with others. Creating new recipes, playing with new ingredients, and seeing smiles on others’ faces makes me happy. Helping others through food and events is what makes me happy so I always want to share that.
Q: What other back-of-the-house positions have you previously held?
Chef Preddie: Six Flags Johnny Rockets is what started my career in 2010. I then became a Line Cook at Graffiato in DC my senior year of high school. which was owned by Mike Isabella. I started college in 2013 and worked in a Soul Food restaurant in New Rochelle for 2 years. Upon graduating college I came back to Maryland and started working at Gaylord National Harbor and at the MGM at Marcus Samuelsson restaurant.
Q: How do you test the quality of your ingredients?
Chef Preddie: I test my ingredients by sight, smell, and touch. Certain ingredients I can look at and automatically tell it’s bad. For example, produce items (vegetables and fruit) release liquid. Smell is also a key indicator when opening products. If the initial smell is too harsh it may be a bad product.
Q: What did you like best about the education experience? What did you like least?
Chef Preddie: What I liked best were my classes. I had labs and lectures that taught me the fundamentals of cooking. I also had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for 3 months as an internship. That was amazing. What I liked the least was the fact that the people that got the overall best experience were on the culinary team.
Q: What is one message you would give to your aspiring chefs?
Chef Preddie: Never give up. If your passion is food, cooking, and helping people through food then pray and keep going. This industry is tough but it’s worth it in the end.
Q: What would you be doing right now, if you weren’t a chef?
Chef Preddie: If I wasn’t a chef I would be a flight attendant. I love traveling and I love airplanes. Meeting new people in every aspect of life also makes me happy so being a flight attendant was the perfect career. I’ve met so many pilots and flight attendants who loved their job and ultimately made me want to become one. It’s a goal of mine.
Q: Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?
Chef Preddie: 1Marcus Samuelson Is my inspiration. From his struggles as a child in Sweden to America he has faced a lot and his cooking technique is phenomenal. I’ve had the chance to work with him on several occasions and he is down to earth. He believes in helping future chefs. He also combines Ethiopian flavors with other flavors to create dishes that are out of this world.
Q: Describe the relationship between back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house operations.
Chef Preddie: For an establishment to be completely successful FOH and BOH have to communicate. Most of the time FOH staff try to overly accommodate guests which inconveniences the kitchen but as a Chef, I would have to accommodate everything because we can’t say No. sometimes those issues cause confrontations. We have to work extremely hard to ensure guest are satisfied so we have to work together
Q: What is your favorite cuisine? How many different types of cuisine are you capable of producing?
Chef Preddie: in Italy. Combining those two types of cuisines has created phenomenal meals. I can pretty much do anything I try with practice and dedication. I have been experimenting with Asian food recently so executing that will be an accomplishment to
Q: If you were told that your food cost was high, what five things would you look at first?
Chef Preddie: Cost of ingredients, Where I’m shopping, Cross use of ingredients & Portion sizes
Q: What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Chef Preddie: “It’s not about where you came from it’s where you’re headed”. That applies to all areas of my life, especially in culinary arts. I’ve faced a lot of obstacles along my journey and I gave up until I understood my true purpose. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past I must focus on the present and where I’m going next.
Q: What’s next for you?
Chef Preddie: In 2021 I’m moving to Florida so the goal is to establish myself out there and tackle that market with my private dining and picnic offerings. This year I want to showcase myself as a Private Chef more because I’m transferring from working in hotels.
For all inquiries, events, and food content be sure to follow PreddieCooks on all social platforms.
Instagram – @PreddieCooksllc @platedbypreddiecatering
Facebook – @chefpreddie
Clubhouse – @preddiecooksllc
Website – www.preddiecooks.co