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Young Chef Takes Transcontinental Leap of Faith

A leap of faith, in its most commonly used meaning, is the act of believing in or accepting something intangible or unprovable, or without empirical evidence.

A leap of faith, in its most commonly used meaning, is the act of believing in or accepting something intangible or unprovable, or without empirical evidence. With the the start of New Year many people will have lists and lists New Year's Resolutions that they promise to keep. Studies show that resolutions are well intentioned but usually end up not being resolved at all. In my movement around town I run into many interesting people and have many different conversations. One young lady Shuntesha Harris was a breath of fresh air. This young lady has known for a long time her career goal and with careful planning she took all the necessary steps to achieve it; however when she found herself at an impass she decided to separate  herself from the pack and leave everything she's ever known to move closer to her dreams.  So next year I resolve to choose one thing and take a great leap that will land me closer to my destiny. Here is Shuntesha's story...

1. When did you know you were in love with the culinary arts?

Wow I cant even remember when I didnt love food. My mother cooks, my aunts cook, great aunts, all my cousins, but the most important cook I knew was my grandma. She taught me her love of food. Taste, textures, and flavors. From the time she woke up she was in her kitchen she never used ingredients from a box or measured anything. She just knew and I wanted to do that too!

2. Where did you receive your formal training and what is the most important thing that you take from that experience?

I recieved my AS Degree (Culinary Arts) and my BS in Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC. Those were the best years of my life! I had good days and HORRIBLE days but I learned to never quit! I always had support and friends that I could turn to! They were my family. The day I graduated the most inportant thing I took from that was I wasnt alone I had an even bigger family of chefs! (these were just ones with culinary degrees) lol

3. Tell me about Carolina Belle, the dream and the concept.

 CarolinaBelle is my baby! Its the first step to my dream. The name comes from both sides of my family my maternal great grandmothers last name with my paternal grandmothers middle name. I want them to be proud of me, and know I am proud of where I came from. The big dream is a Bed & Breakfast called QueenCarolina with full service catering hence CarolinaBelle I want them to have different but similar names so people knew they were a family but with different personalities if you will. Bringing you southern hospitality with a personal touch.

4. When did you realize it was time to separate yourself from the pack and step into a new destiny?

When I was working for a company that told customers about their fresh ingredients but I was prearing things out of a box and heating up pre packaged foods. It made me sick. I love food, from the smell, the cripness of the veggies, the smell as they saute with olive oil. I knew I wasnt the only one with this love and it upset me that people were paying for something they werent getting. I have always wanted my own anyway and I was tired of punching someone else's clock making things that I hated and I wanted a change. Hence the birth of CarolinaBelle.

5. What are you looking most forward to in Germany?

EUROPE! I never been but have dreamed of it. I want to go everywhere and do everything! I want the food, the wine, the people, the experience, I want it all. I want to be able to do things I have never done before. I am from the south so to see snow will be an experience within itself. Im working for a resort for the US ARMY so I will be amongst people I have things in common with, but I am still hoping to learn some new things from some new people.

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