I have always had a love for food. Watching cooking shows on Sunday afternoons is where it all started. Throughout high school and college that love never faded but I hadn't recognized it as something big enough to make into a career. It was always a hobby.
Shortly after graduating from college I was married with two young children. By then everyone who knew me well also knew how much I loved anything food-related. Eventually the kids grew up and I was ready for the next chapter. The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham was that next step for me. I had finally decided to make this hobby into a career.
I quickly realized that the food industry wasn't the most family friendly career path. With that said, I decided to take on multiple part-time jobs. It would give me the much needed experience while accommodating the demands of a household with young children. Along the way I would pick up additional positions with Wake Tech, Williams Sonoma, the Durham Convention Center and many other companies on top of being a part-time student. It wasn't easy but it sure was fun!
Upon graduating with a degree in Culinary Arts I had already started my own business, Foodamentally Sound. As the owner I provide cooking classes for various events and occasions. It was a little off the beaten path for a culinary graduate but I find that my story makes it easy to connect with the home cook. It's so rewarding to watch class participants breathe a sigh of relief at loving what they have just prepared! Cooking CAN be fun!
How It All Started
For the Love of Food
Meet the Chef
Cherisse Byers is the chef and founder of Foodamentally Sound. She was born and raised in Durham, NC where her love of food began. She studied Finance and Economics while at UNC-Greensboro and furthered her education in Culinary Arts at The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham.
Cherisse has taught cooking classes for Williams Sonoma, Wake Technical Community College Continuing Education, Whisk Quality Kitchenware of Cary, Wake County Public School System Lifelong Learning Division, UNC Wellness and is a former culinary instructor at The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham.
Giving back to the community has been a source of fulfillment for Cherisse as it adds deeper meaning to her love of food. She has had the opportunity to facilitate cooking demonstrations for and serve on committees of several local organizations:
NC Cooperative Extension of Durham
Durham Housing Authority
East Durham Children's Initiative
American Diabetes Association of Raleigh
International Focus of Raleigh International Festival
Eat Smart Move More of Wake County
Wake County Summer Food Service Program
Cherisse currently resides in Raleigh with her husband and two children.