Meet The Face Behind Carolyn’s Creole Kitchen
I’m Carolyn Silas-Sams, the proud owner of Carolyn’s Creole Kitchen.
I look forward to sharing my story. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better. I learned to cook from the age of seven by assisting my mother, who was fondly called, “Honey.” As her confidence grew in my ability, my mom, who was a self-taught cook, would share many of the Duhon secret family recipes with me.
To her, the ingredients were merely everyday common spices, which she seldom measured and mixed, but to me, the process meant the world, and I never got tired of watching her.
At age nine, in my attempt to assist my mom get ready for a big family gathering, set for the next day, I decided to prepare all of the ingredients needed to make her favorite dish, Seafood Gumbo. I felt that having everything cleaned in advance would help my mom save time, once she returned from work.
So I pulled out the ingredients from the refrigerator and began the process of cleaning, cutting, and separating the food. Then, for reasons that I do not recall, one by one, I started cooking some of the ingredients in the same order that I had seen my mom do so many times.
Subsequently, I was informed that my mom had to work late that day, so although I had only intended to get things started for her, I somehow started cooking the Gumbo. After a few glitches (burned roux and rice twice), I had prepared my first pot of Seafood Gumbo all by myself.
When my mom got home, she could smell the Gumbo, but had no idea who had cooked it. After tasting it, to her amazement and eventual joy, she turned this labor-intensive job over to me, permanently. It was the day that I realized how much I loved cooking.
I’ve now been in the catering industry for fifteen years, and one of the main things I’ve realized is that inflation bites. When I started, you could put on a dinner sale for $5 a plate that consisted of Creole-seasoned fried chicken (two pcs), fresh greens, cornbread, rice, and gravy, plus sweet tea or lemonade. Now, you can’t even prepare a bag of popcorn or a hot dog for that amount.
Despite the increase in prices, I never compromise on using fresh quality ingredients, as I’m committed to preparing delicious cuisine, and I never want to have regrets, so my mantra is, if it’s not right, don’t serve it, period!
I attribute my high standards to my mom, Leola “Honey” Duhon, and the noble values that she instilled in me. My mother not only taught me how to cook correctly but also how to manage a kitchen hygienically, with tips such as re-refrigerating the items to keep bacteria away.
I know how vital these lessons were to me, and so in the future, I plan to teach children from ages six and above the art of cooking. I feel that if they can learn the basics from scratch, then they will be much healthier and not have to rely on fast-food chains.
They may even become a master chef one day. Take my example, I know that when I started out, I couldn’t imagine the success I would go on to have. Through my profession, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and calling Danny Glover a friend, while my most significant achievement was cooking yummy creole cuisine as a vendor at Super Bowl 50.
It’s my passion to feed new guests that want to experiment with authentic soul food meals, and I believe what sets me apart from the others is my ability to deliver service with a smile consistently.
When I am not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I love singing acapella and cruising.
I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business.
If you or someone you know could benefit from my expertise as a creole food catering service in Oakland, California, I invite you to get in touch. Please visit my website at www.gocreole.co.