MORE THAN JUST A CHEF
A WOMAN'S JOURNEY
My story is filled with moments of back-to-back success, but also moments of intense difficulties that often made it tempting to quit all together. No matter what I've endured on my journey as a chef and business owner, my faith has consistently provided the resources and people I needed. I share my story from a perspective of showing others that anyone can fulfill their purpose in the midst of challenges and obstacles.
Born and raised in Brooklyn New York, my first memory of cooking was with my Grandmother and Dad at the age of 9. I also remember my mother always making really great pies and cakes during family celebrations.
I come from a long line of family members who served in the United States Military; most of them enlisted in the Marines. At age 18 I enlisted into the US Army as a Food Specialist and eventually stationed in Germany. There I was exposed to kitchen management, food service, and cooking for large quantities of people.
I studied Hospitality Management & Tourism and also graduated from Le Cordon Bleu with a degree in Culinary Arts. After graduating culinary school I took my chef bag began to aggressively pursue personal and private chef jobs.
Outside of working for myself I gained a solid foundation in international cuisine by working in various restaurants throughout Orlando. After some time working in the kitchen the realization came that I was more passionate about interacting with guests, than being behind the line. I enjoy taking a white canvas and making it beautiful from start to finish.
A Chef’s Low Point
I became homeless in 2004 just when the business was starting to take off. My previous marriage, clients and business fell apart and I was in a season of instability. After remarrying in 2010 the road to rebuilding Wishful Concepts Catering began and I was inspired to focus on my passion for culinary arts full-time.
The Come Back Up
Wishful Concepts Catering was relaunched and operated out of a shared commissary kitchen. With no website in existence and just a free profile setup on TheKnot, the company’s first wedding was booked since it’s relaunch in Stuart Florida. That wedding resulted in a 5-star review on TheKnot and more weddings started coming in. The growth happened so fast that we had to rent two commissary kitchens in the Orlando area to service the increase of business.
We Wanted To Be Different
My dream was to build a catering company that created an opportunity for clients to have a “one-stop shopping experience”. We wanted an atmosphere that allowed people who come from various cultural backgrounds, to work directly with a chef that could honor their family memories and celebrate culture through a great dining experience.
Wishful Concepts Catering won it’s first prestigious award from TheKnot, “The Best of Weddings” for 2013 and has since won the award 7 consecutive times since that date – receiving top reviews from couples, guests, vendors and event venues. In 2014, the catering company acquired it’s first brick-and-mortar location and built out a kitchen facility, consultation and warehouse space, in order to provide full-service catering services. The catering company received other types of recognition such as “The Best of Longwood Florida” after attending a local Food & Wine Festival.
COMPETING ON TV FOR THE FIRST TIME ON COOKS VS. CONS sEASON 5, EPISODE 6
I Competed on The Food Network’s hit show Cooks Vs. Cons
I used to always tell my mom, “one day you will see me on television” and in August of 2017 I achieved my dream. It was definitely an amazing experience to meet Chef Carla Hall, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and food author and TV host Daphne Oz! I stepped out…applied and was chosen from among thousands to compete on the show and had a blast!
COMPETING ON THE FOOD NETWORK FOR THE SECOND TIME ON FOOD NETWORK STAR SEASON 14
The Second Time Around
Having competed on Cooks Vs. Cons in 2017, another opportunity presented itself to compete on Food Network Star in the Summer of 2018. Hosted by Chef Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, I took on challenges that tested both my cooking and on-camera skills – all for a chance to host my own tv show on The Food Network! The best part is that many of the episodes were shot right in sunny Orlando at Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park.
Relocated from orlando and now ATLANTA IS HOME
Chef Samone Lett decided to rename the company to reflect it’s growth, relocated to Atlanta, and grabbed a catering contract from Tyler Perry Studios in November of 2018. Now renamed as Red Door Events & Catering, formally Wishful Concepts Catering, her company continues to provide personal chef services, cater private events, and served clients such YouTube, Morehouse, CARTERS, Mercedes Benz, and Edelman. Currently, she is involved with organizations such as DIG (Development In Gardening) and The James Beard Foundation.