Your dreams won’t become a reality if you just talk about them. You have to put in the work to actually make them happen.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Rosalind “Roz” Tucker, aka Ms. Roz. Ms. Roz is the chef and owner of Tucker’s Catering & Cafe, which currently serves the city of Atlanta and surrounding areas. Born in New Britain, Connecticut, Chef Roz now resides in the state of Georgia with her family. It was here that she made her cooking debut after deciding it was time to turn her passion for creating amazing food into a living. Once Chef Roz made the decision to relentlessly pursue her cooking dreams, she left the corporate world and committed herself full-time to becoming the best chef in Atlanta. She worked her way up in the city’s culinary scene before making a name for herself and eventually starting her own catering company in 2006. Since then, Chef Roz has become known as “Atlanta’s Best Kept Secret” — a title bestowed for her ability to reinvent traditional dishes and deliver a best-in-class experience to every client. And today, Chef Roz’s reputation for turning simple dishes into culinary works of art precedes her. It is this talent, paired with unyielding entrepreneurial spirit and faith, that has allowed Chef Roz and her company to achieve continuous award-winning success. Matching her passion for making delicious food is Chef Roz ‘s passion for philanthropy. Chef Roz and her company actively give back to the Atlanta community through nonprofit event contributions and regular meal donations to those in need. She currently lives in Norcross, GA with her husband and her precious baby Tyson, a Rottweiler. When she’s not in the kitchen, Chef Roz can be found walking on the beach, shopping, reading a good book or volunteering her time to causes supporting children and senior citizens.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Well, from a young age cooking was always my favorite hobby. I grew up in a small town in Connecticut with a diverse food scene and was always cooking at home. My family would joke that I could never make a “plain” sandwich. After getting married, my sweet husband saw my passion and love of food and encouraged me to turn it into a living. I left the full-time corporate world and managed part-time jobs while learning the craft. I even worked for country clubs to learn the etiquette of dining. I’m a self-starter and wanted to teach myself everything and turn it into a full-time, successful career.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
I’m proud to say I successfully manage a booming business in the challenging catering world. As one of Atlanta’s few female African American executive chefs, I strive to reinvent the culinary palate and deliver a best-in-class experience for every client. When a client calls at the last minute and increases the headcount (for example, tripling the headcount from 80 to 250!), I grin and take on the challenge. I always make sure my customer service is top-notch and treat every single person like a VIP. It’s helped my company become known as Atlanta’s “best-kept secret.” I was also named best caterer in Norcross, GA, a title bestowed for the ability to reinvent traditional dishes and deliver a best-in-class experience to every client.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
My beautiful mother has been my biggest mentor. She is always supportive and encouraging me to never quit, no matter how hard the journey is. Catering is a tough industry, but it’s also very rewarding. She reminds me of that and of course to keep GOD first. My faith is very important to me.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
When I first started out, a very dear friend of mine gave me some good advice. At the time, I didn’t consider myself a chef, I wasn’t confident and I didn’t have a degree in the culinary industry. His encouraging words to me were “you are a chef, your experience supersedes a degree!” Those words and his confidence in me gave me the assurance and trust I needed to call myself Chef Roz! It’s a reminder to never doubt your abilities.
Another piece of advice that I constantly remind myself of, is to live in your purpose. To me, my work is not “work”, it’s therapy! I’m doing what I’m meant and love to do, and it feels so rewarding.
How are you going to shake things up next?
I’ve got some big plans for my future, especially 2020. My first goal is to finally get the venue of my own. I also plan to start my own YouTube channel so I can reach more of my fans and share fan-favorite recipes.
I’d also like to shake up the cooking show world with one of my own, it’s been a goal of mine for a while now. And last but certainly not least, I’m ready to put my famous Citrus Salmon & Sauce in stores across the nation!
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
No, I can’t say that I’ve had one single book or talk that’s had a deep impact on my thinking, but my faith and my family are constant inspirations for me as a person and a chef. Making a difference is important to me, and I don’t need to get accolades for that, because everybody has to eat!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
You never know what your idea can trigger. 😊 My Non-Profit, Just a Touch of Love, has inspired & fed over 4,000 children! I encourage them to do their best at everything they do, and never give up on your journey because dreams do come true if you put in the work! If I could inspire a bigger movement of this nature, I would. This simple message is so important to share.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Don’t talk about it. Be about it. And just make it happen!” I used this mantra in the early stages of my career and I still use it today. Your dreams won’t become a reality if you just talk about them. You have to put in the work to actually make them happen.
How can our readers follow you on social media?