31 Days of Dreamers & Doers | Markela Dean
Enjoy All Things started off as a personal blog for Markela Dean, highlighting her very own recipes. Since the launch of E.A.T, she has added - cooking lessons, meal planning, catering, event planning and flower arrangements. Word on the street is that she will be adding a few new and exciting things in the upcoming year As well. With beautiful arrangements and art-like setups, markela uses creative ways to not only make her meals yummy and fun, but pleasing to the eye. Lets dig right in.
What is your earliest memory in this business?
I’ve always had an interest in the culinary arts. As a kid I remember sautéing green peppers, onions and sausage and putting it in my .20 pack of ramen noodles. In middle school and high school, I was always in culinary classes and my senior year I competed in a local competition. Cooking is so natural to me, I never thought of it as a talent, I felt like - this is too easy anyone can do this.
It wasn’t until someone I admire, spoke to someone about me. There was more passion in their eyes then there had ever been in mine and at that very moment, I knew I really had something special.
MD: Food is always a good idea, but it gives me the opportunity to be creative. When I cook I’m free, no one can tell me if I’m doing this right or wrong, they can only tell me how great it tastes. I love sitting back and seeing people enjoy what I’ve created. It amazes me when people stop me in random places and say “you’re the one that cooks”, or, “oh, you made this? I know it’s good”. I get my greatest fulfillment when people that haven’t tasted my food, let alone smelled it, believe in me and see my talent.
What did your journey look like getting here?
It was exactly that, a journey! I knew where to start and I knew what I wanted it to look like, but I wasn’t prepared for the in-between. I purchased a new laptop, purchased my domain and then I was like - umm how do I build a website? I was offered to either pay someone to do it or to help me and give me all the tools to do it on my own and I chose the latter - I wanted to throw that laptop out the window so many times! I kept everything that I was doing a secret. When I finally thought I was ready, my stomach was in a ball of knots, I was drinking wine from the bottle and was so scared to release my baby. When I hit post I kept refreshing and was blown away at the response. I honestly thought that after almost 2 years the local response would die down a little, but they are still supporting me.
Markela didn't always think she'd be making gorgeous plates that others enjoy, catering for fancy parties or teaching cooking classes at The Boys and Girls Club. Not at all, she was going to be a traveling pediatric nurse. She even completed all of her pre-nursing prerequisites but realized - her passion was elsewhere.
How do you hope people feel after working with or taking a class with you?
Depends on the type of work, but ultimately I hope they say “she really knows what she’s doing” and that they can trust and rely on me.
When asked for advice, this is what the culinary queen had to say:
Do all things on your time. People told me for years that I should be cooking professionally, even to this day, people want me to open a restaurant or write a cook book, but the timing isn’t right. If you don’t believe in it and you just do it b/c someone suggest it, your passion becomes a job - E.A.T is my happy place and if I’d listened to what a lot of people said I should’ve been doing 5 years ago I would’ve been failed or been frustrated and quit this “job” before it started. Do what makes you happy when it’s right for you!
In terms of career highlights, Markela feels she hasn't had that big one yet, but it’s coming! We'd say she's well on her way with many things to be proved of already.
Would you go back and change anything?
"NOT ONE DAMN THING! Trust yourself and the process."
If interested in learning from Markela, she does offer private cooking lessons. Something fun for a ladies night or even date night. To book, simply send an email to email@example.com. To see more of Markela and her lovely dishes, tune into her blog - www.enjoyallthings.net. You can also visit her Instagram.