Hello everyone! I’m Chef Nekia.
I am the founding chef for Chef Nekia LLC. I’m the daughter of 2 entrepreneurs, raised in Southern California. I have been working with food since I was 8 years old. I am the eldest of 3, and a tía to the most joyous niece, Zuri. I love GOOD food, music and art in all its many expressions.
I’ve been working in food since I was of age to have a work permit. My favorite food memory is when I would stay up late throughout High School watching my blind grandmother, Loretta, cook by feel, taste and memory. She was losing her sight throughout those years and I watched her teach herself how to cook by sense memory. I learned so much from her, I still think of her when I smell cumin.
The mid 2000s I got serious about food. I met a Chef in Sacramento, Chef Russ Landers. Chef Russ trusted me, pushed me out of my comfort zone, helped unlock what he called natural giftedness in the kitchen. He created a safe space for exploration and growth.
“In our home growing up there was always room at the table for more people. That's the legacy I am building as a chef.”
I hosted weekly private dining experiences in my home that served as an opportunity to put into practice what I was learning. This is where I began to foster the philosophy around communal food experiences, long before I even started this private chef business.
Food for me is more than just a beautifully plated and skillfully executed meal. It’s about what happens when we gather around the table. Where you’re from, your socioeconomic status, the color of your skin, those things do not matter at the table, WE ALL HAVE TO EAT. When we sit at the table we are at the same level. I strive to facilitate communal food experiences by gathering people together around delectable table-scapes.
When my father was promoted to heaven in 2014, I spent time reflecting on the legacy he left in me. He was generous, pioneering, a mentor, resourceful, self-less and full of JOY. He always planted seeds for trees he knew he would not get to enjoy the shade of. In our home growing up there was always room at the table for more people. That’s the legacy I am building as a private chef. My table will be a beautiful bridge between people, a great equalizer. There’s a seat there, just for you.