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When it comes to Chef Breanna Bolden, things get no more authentic! Chef Bre’s true love for the kitchen can be tasted in her work and seen in the way she introduces you to everything she has to offer. There is no doubt that her dedication to her craft will continue to put her in places to elevate and share her culinary skills with the world. To learn more about her culinary art and how her journey has landed her right where she needs to be, continue reading, and, afterwards, be sure to keep up with her to see when and where you can get your hands on her edible art!
Q: Okay; so, you know I love a good origins story, which is why I’ve got to ask this question. How did your love of food art start?
A: So, I have to start by telling this story. After Hurricane Katrina, I moved to Texas during high school and started cooking, but I could not cook at all! Like, I was blowing up eggs on the stove. Anyways, fast forward some years. I was at Southeastern Louisiana University where my major was communication before switching to psychology because I loved to study the way the mind works. I remember having a professor who told me that you really have to like what you do because you weren’t going to get much out of it if you didn’t. So, hearing that spurred me to start rethinking. During that time, I had gotten my first apartment and would call my mom to learn some recipes from her, but, later, I also started making different cupcakes. So much so that, when people would come to my apartment to study, there’d be cupcakes everywhere! Then, I left SLU in 2013 and moved to Baton Rouge to sit out a year or two when I got a job at Leblanc’s working both as a cashier and in the bakery. While working there, I could tell that one of the girls wouldn’t fully explain things to me, and I wouldn’t grasp it until the black people started teaching me because the white people wouldn’t teach me enough to progress, only enough to get by. To this day I credit a lot of the cake decorating techniques I’ve learned to the black girl that taught me there. A couple years later, in 2015 during Mardi Gras, I met Kenneth Temple, a private chef from Nicholls State. He ended up encouraging me to go to culinary school. I applied to John Folse Culinary Institute and got accepted that summer. Once I got accepted, I took up a second job to save up to be able to afford going to school. Like, I didn’t even have a car at the time. When I went out for the grand opening of the John Folse Culinary Institute, I remember seeing Kenneth in the doorway, and he said, “So, you finally made it.” At that moment, I knew I was supposed to be there. That’s when it hit me that this is what I was supposed to be doing.
Q: Who or what has been your biggest inspiration on this journey?
A: My biggest inspiration has been the pushback. In this industry, as a woman, you have to have tough skin. Initially, I didn’t realize what type of effect having confidence in the kitchen could have on people. I’ve even gotten negative energy from men in the kitchen sometimes. One told me, “Oh you’re smarter than the average bear.” It was a black man who told me this, and I took so much offense. I also remember working with a female family friend in her business, but she didn’t even want to do business with me once I started coming out with my own creations. I’m out here wanting to help, to learn, to collaborate, but, when they say it be your own people, I’m learning that more and more. It’s like crabs in a bucket sometimes, and it hurts my heart to be honest.
Q: How did you create Oven Bits and Pieces?
A: I bought the domain name for it. When I was sitting out of school, I had a journal and would come up with meanings of things associated with my journey. I’m so much of everything; I need bits and pieces. Well, what’s connected to everything in the kitchen? The oven. So, that was how I came up with the name.
Q: Ooh creative! I can dig it. What were some major turning points in your journey?
A: When at Nicholls, I started getting gigs with meal prep, cakes, etc. I had a few other bakery jobs in school too. In 2018, I was doing my last internship, which turned into a job. People used to trash talk the king cakes from the place I worked at, and I thought to myself, “What can I do about that?” That’s when I start selling king cakes. Not long after that, I quit my job because I had so many orders to fill. So, making the king cakes were a major turning point and the official start to things.
Q: What has been the hardest thing about your journey in culinary arts, and what would you say to other black chefs trying to make their way to where you are?
A: Honestly, I don’t like sugarcoating things, but I try to convey my thoughts in a proper way. So, I’d say make sure you’re always zoning in on your craft without trying to take on the stress of having other people help you. It’s true that it’s not going to get done by itself, but you also have to make sure you’re in the right position spiritually and mentally before you allow someone to contribute to the passion you have. Even the people who want to see you be great are still not going to love it the way you do. So, make sure it’s up to your standards before allowing people into your space. Knowing yourself and what you need to do is going to help draw everything you need.
Q: What is your favorite dish to cook?
A: Definitely pastries! It’s such a stress relief for me. Bread or dough in general. Making the dough by hand. I can do all that stuff! It’s almost like Italians when they make pasta. It’s such a finesse you have to have with baking, and that’s my strong suit.
Q: What has been your favorite unique food creation and why this year?
A: Since I’m from New Orleans, my favorite things I’ve made this year are the berry creamy king cakes as well as the pralines n’ cream king cake, which I do for my mom. She requests it every year. The berry creamy is just so pretty! I love the way it looks!
Q: What are some things that people can look forward to from Chef Bre and Oven Bits and Pieces?
A: Other pop-ups. Also, something I’m trying to do more of is engage with my followers. I want to give tips and things to help others in their kitchen. I’ll be putting more of my personality out there. Most people just know me or just know my food. I want everyone to know both sides of the coin so they can understand the whole picture of what I’m trying to do in this world.
Q: Where can people keep up with these new occurrences in your journey with culinary arts?
A: I have a Facebook page. It’s Chef Bre; my personal page is Breanna Bolden. On Instagram, it’s Oven Bits and Pieces and Chef Bre.
Jeuane Michael Sessions, better known as Jay Michael, is set to open Eat, Laugh, & Chill LLC in Baton Rouge, La. Sessions is an established entrepreneur in the comedy world and has made a name for himself in the Atlanta and cruise line comedy circuit, selling out shows in both. The comedy club is set to open soon at 7171 Airline HWY Suite 3, but Sessions has already been kicking things off in a major way by having social media comedian and personality Tim Bae touch the stage of the event center at March 20th. Initially, this event was set to have one show, but, after selling out, a 2nd show was added for the same night. Kerwin Claiborne also set the stage on fire April 23rd with his two completely sold-out shows. Once open, Eat Laugh & Chill LLC will have shows each week with some of the greatest comedians around the world giving the audience some of the best laughter that you can have.
Now, don’t think big names like Time Bae and Kerwin Claiborne will just be the start of this amazing venture either because Sessions will continue to book and hold big name events while the comedy club roars on. Big name events will continue to be held at the event center and the regular comedy shows will take place at the Airline Hwy address.
When asked about his plans for his new platform in the city and what his aspirations are for the future of Laugh, Eat, and Chill LLC, Sessions states, “My shows are very hype, and I just want to bring great events to the city. I want to give the people something that they can respect, and I’m going to make some people famous one day.”
Are you a comedian who has what it takes but needs an audience to appeal to? Well, you may want to reach out to Jay Michael at Laugheatandchill@gmail.com to get more details on how you can get a shot at showing the city what you have to offer.
Interested in keep up with the opening date along with the weekly comedy shows and big names coming to Baton Rouge’s hottest new comedy club? Follow Eat Laugh and Chill on Instagram to stay up on the latest and greatest in comedy coming to Baton Rouge.
In Baton Rouge, there a time & place for everything. This is the place where the city comes to discuss, debate, showcase, promote, and give feedback in ONE hour, over unlimited champagne. Your informative Joce. We’re going into Season 3 and on the first episode we’re starting it off with a bang with a battle rap legend in 40 Barrs and special co-host Tubbi of the show “Kickin The Real” & of the Nerdy Bird Site.