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Insta dinner with Akilah

NATANGA SMITH, [email protected]

Insta dinner with Akilah

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YOU SEE THE Instagram posts. Culinary concoctions that create a yearning to taste them but also a yearning to create them.

Akilah Bryan has used her passion for the kitchen to become not only an entrepreneur but an Instagram celebrity, so to speak.

“Whenever it was vacation time I was in the kitchen. By trial and error I became quite good at it. I used my mum, Garland, dad Frank and brother Alonza as my testers,” she said, laughing.

Akilah, 34, a former student of Parkinson Memorial Secondary, said she held various jobs as customer attendant, cashier, server and cook before throwing in the towel and starting her own home-based business – cooking from home and providing to clients.

She attended PomMarine Hospitality Institute, graduating with an advanced certificate in culinary arts and most outstanding student in 2008.

The mother of son Labron (14 years old) only started her Instagram account last year.

“I decided to create my Instagram food account May 1, 2016. I started posting a lot of pictures and of dishes I prepared, along with video clips, sharing some of my recipes. Those are simple, quick and easy meals to prepare if you don’t have a lot of time.

“Some of my followers reposted some of my dishes on their account and now I have over 2 400 followers. So my food page is a year old. Happy birthday to me,” she said, chuckling.

One of her favourite dishes is the creamy chicken and broccoli stuffed pasta shells that she shares with EASY and she says her secret (not anymore) ingredient is “my home-made dry rub. I can use it to season any meats or sauces”.

Akilah, who confessed to “messing up” a cake recipe, said, “Cooking is my passion so it doesn’t feel like a job. I am living one of my dreams and achieving one of my goals. I relish getting excellent reviews and feedback from my customers.”

Akilah said a drawback sometimes is the overwhelming number of orders.

“I work from home, in a small space, and it takes long hours for preparation. I spend most of my weekends sourcing certain ingredients and sometimes it annoys me when people look down on me because I am young. And thinking I can’t handle myself in the kitchen.”

Akilah wants to one day own her own food truck. “It was always my passion to start my own food business and I got tired limiting myself to less than my potential.

“I want to tell dreamers, never give up. To always remain humble, patient and focused on your goals.

“One of my goals is to inspire a lot of people daily in a very positive way.” (NS)