Serve Em’ Up

Food wins them all. Food is meant for everyone. Food brings people together. Creating food is what Keosha Nelson lives for.

Keosha originally went to school at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for journalism from 2012-2014. She liked the passion people had for it, but apparently, she didn’t have that same passion.

“It wasn’t for me.”

After leaving Stevens Point, Keosha came back to Milwaukee to attend MATC for culinary school. Now she’s moved on to attaining a pastry degree, which she will get in two years.

Keosha started on her chef career path one year and a half ago. She never thought she would be a chef, but it wasn’t too much of a surprise since her father used to cook all the time in her younger days. She currently cooks at the Wisconsin Club and caters events.

You know your cooking skills are on point when your grandmother calls and ask for cooking advice. Her grandmother is used to cooking soul food and fatty dishes, but she contacts Keosha when she wants to make a healthier meal. A lot of people in Keosha’s family cook, so when she said she was going to be a chef her family was more than happy.

Living a healthy sustainable life is something Keosha is working towards. She’s always been interested in growing her own food to create her own taste. Starting a non-profit for urban agriculture is her in future. To teach children the importance of growing their own food is something she’s passionate about.

It’s not an easy life to live, it’s a lot of trial and error, but Keosha knows it will all be worth it. The positive affects on her body is what keeps her going.

She’s thinking about living in the West Coast, like Seattle, because it rains a lot and that’s always good for growing your own food. And to Keosha, it would be a good place to be a teacher.

Being a chef and a student is exhausting for Keosha. 13-hour days, but, somehow, she’s able to create delicious dishes. She’s in school from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and then goes to work until 8 p.m., sometimes 11 p.m. Keosha knew this wasn’t going to be an easy ride, but accomplishing your dreams is never easy.

Although it’s not possible, Keosha would have loved to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. one of her meals. She would make him Gouda grits, fried catfish and homemade biscuits because he’s from Atlanta and he needs that southern food, said Keosha . 

Surprisingly, Keosha doesn’t watch many food shows. Well, maybe, it’s not that surprising since her days are so long.

The concept of ratios and conversions is one of the best things Keosha has learned since cooking. If you know a dish needs two tablespoons of sugar and one tablespoon of baking powder to make a serving of four then you can make that same dish for a serving of 50.

On New Year’s, Keosha served 520 people and “it was pretty chaotic.” Good thing she had help because she was able to assign different people to different task. But, it’s not always that easy.

She had to carter an event by herself for the clothing line Instant Karma Apparel. It got so overwhelming that she had to call her dad for extra help. When her dad can’t come to her rescue, she takes it one thing at a time.

“You just have to focus on whatever you’re doing.”

Keosha’s favorite dishes to make our sauces and soups, and her favorite foods to eat our Italian and Jamaican.

Koesha loves making food, but she doesn't see herself being cooped up in a kitchen for the rest of her life. Keosha works with River Revitalization Foundation and they pull up invasive species and plant plants. Her love for the environment shows in everything she does. Mother Earth is someone she truly cares about.

No matter how many compliments she receives, she never feels her food is good enough.

“I’m super critical about my cooking.”

We’re usually are biggest critic and Keosha is no different.

She will continue creating dishes and filling the stomachs around her. When Keosha left Stevens Point it put her behind her friends. While they were all graduating she was still in school. It made her feel less worthy, but now she’s found herself and her calling.

“Now that I found my passion I don’t even care.”