This week for Dinner Conversations, I had the pleasure of catching up with Dominique Clayton. She is the Creator and CEO of In The Kitchen With Dominique. She is an entrepreneur, wife, career woman, and mother. She has a love for down home healthy cooking showing people how they can have healthy meals that still taste delicious. I don't want to spill all the red beans so read on to learn more about this Boss Lady for yourself.
In just 3 words who is Dominique?
Strong, Confident, & Silly
How did you first get involved with cooking?
Since I was a little girl I have the best memories of my mom in the kitchen making hearty meals. She always chopped up various ingredients for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Seeing her so adamant about making sure my family had a good meal EVERYDAY stuck with me throughout my life. I wanted to make sure I made my house a home by doing just what she did. I am obsessed with having my house smell like something hearty by cooking for my loves. I began to really dive in around the time my now 5 year old daughter Diara was born. I became even more involved with cooking when I was pregnant with my now almost 1 year old son Asher. Now I want my passion to go out into the world and have everyone experience my cooking.
Being a wife and mother how do you balance preparing food for your family, cooking, and work?
Ahhhhhhhhh (screams at that thought.) It is a challenge that I face DAILY! I believe that the strongest way you can show someone you love them is by feeding them a tasty & hearty meal. My husband works really hard. My favorite way to show him that I appreciate his efforts of making sure we are taken care of is by cooking a meal that he can enjoy. His meal at the end of the day says "welcome home honey!" I want to pass on that same tradition to my daughter by inspiring her to cook and having her enjoy a tasty meal. When you're a mom of two and a wife you're typically doing non stop outpouring into your family. This could be in the form of time, energy, support, and more. It's exhausting but rewarding. Somehow my passion for cooking and family's appetites transcends the exhaustion even when my son is tugging at my leg. Sometimes I impress myself at how I am able to get a meal done while holding him.
Out of all the subjects out there why did you choose food?
Food brings people together, it's the highest way (I believe) of showing you appreciate someone. Now days it's so easy to make reservations, go through the drive thru, or have an order in type meal at the end of the day. I chose food because cooking is something that I can literally do all day and not get tired of it! It's kind of therapeutic. I want to simplify lives by alleviating the task of cooking for them by producing yummy meals for various meetings, lunches, and private parties.
What are your favorite types of dishes to make?
My favorite types of meals to make are pastas, roasts, steaks, and various chicken platters. There's no fuss with them and you don't have to feel guilty eating pasta or meat when you load it up with veggies and fresh ingredients. My daughter's favorite dish is pesto pasta. On top of the bunches of basil I add tons of spinach and garlic in it to boost the nutritional value. Sometimes I'll saute mushrooms and bell peppers and add that to it as well.
What types of services do you offer your clients? (dinners, lunches, meal prep, etc.)
My services include preparing lunches and dinners to local businesses. I also offer meal consultation to encourage families to cook healthier and shop within the perimeter of the grocery store. Obesity and diabetes is on the rise and that's something that I want to combat without people feeling like they are missing out eating their favorite things.
Where do you find inspiration for the foods you create?
I get excited about having fresh veggies and hearty foods like steak or chicken. My mom made a lot of smothered type meals with lots of veggies. I loved it because I knew that I was getting well fed. My dishes have one heavy component mixed with tons of veggies and herbs so it's always a win-win.
What is "In The Kitchen With Dominique?"
In The Kitchen With Dominique is about one of the most important place in the house (the kitchen) and how to maximize your time in the kitchen by allowing me to give you a different perspective on how to show your love through cooking food.
What do you find most enjoyable about what you do?
I get to cook, create, & share my passion with people.
If a kid walked up to you asking you for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your “best tip” what would it be?
Don't conform to anyone else's standards, be the best you, be different, and do what you love
What other services do you offer and what other projects are you working on?
Everyday I am building In The Kitchen With Dominique and enjoying the process. In the future as I develop this brand I would love to have a non profit organization where I can help less fortunate families enjoy hearty and healthy meals daily.
Where can people find you so that they can stay connected with you?
Follow me @inthekitchenwithdominique and follow the hashtag #inthekitchenwithdominique