Meet Chef Hadassah Patterson

women in business series from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

I hope you are enjoying meeting the faces highlighted in this series. If you have missed any of them, you can check them out here. Today I want you to meet Chef Hadassah Patterson. Although I haven’t met her in person, she so graciously agreed to guest post last year when I was busy with my daughter’s wedding.

Meet Chef Hadassah Patterson Women in Business Series from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Tell me a little bit about you. 

Hi, I am Chef Hadassah Patterson. I am a NC lady and have roots across the state. My main passions are farming, food, and people. I come from a large family and spent my early years in banking before deciding to pursue my nurtured passion for cooking. I also paint, writes poetry and enjoy hiking and travel.

Tell me about your business. 

I have cooked in every type of professional environment from short-order food trucks, to AAA Five Diamond Awarded fine dining establishments, including directing non-profit food programming. I hold degrees in both Culinary and Hospitality Management and am fond of global cuisine. In addition, I specialize in dedicated gluten-free cooking with an emphasis on remaking American and Southern classics to a standard that is delicious regardless of dietary needs. I offer private chef services, dedicated gluten-free baked goods, and still share recipes in various printed mediums.

What struggles have you faced in your business? 

We all face so many challenges. I started working from a side hustle and continued from there. I was able to apply for a small business microloan which helped with some seed money – then had a medical setback. Was still working full-time. It’s been a full life. There wasn’t this fund I had stashed that I could work from – it was bootstrapping all the way. So I’d say capital is the biggest challenge most women face, really. 

How have you overcome those struggles?

I stay agile, pay attention to trends, and still apply for grants as I can.

Who were your mentors growing up? 

My Dad was my main mentor – very encouraging – always told me I had the traits to do what I set my heart on and see it through. Every lady needs someone like that in their lives. Later I had some great professional mentors – men and women – who kept an eye out for me. That’s huge.

Meet Chef Hadassah Patterson Women in Business Series from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

If you were to give advice to a woman going into the field you are in what would it be?

Be selective. Don’t feel as if life chooses what you do. You choose what you want to do, and how you want to do it. I read an article once that bore out how critical our choice of a life partner can be. It’s true. One of our key markers of success (we all define it differently – but reaching our goals) is how good a support system we have. The average married male has had fewer obstacles in this regard, one could say. For women there are more hurdles the more boxes we check, so to speak. Be selective in both your personal and professional life. Choose someone that will support your goals, not pose any kind of hindrance. I’ve been there and done that. We all have.

Have you found that being a woman in your field is harder or easier? Tell me about the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman. 

I may have covered this some 🙂 but yes it’s harder many times. Aside from inherent bias as to our ability to succeed, there is the day to day challenge of dealing with others – motivating staff, managing vendors/suppliers, being respected and engendering respect. It’s important that we still take the lead in being respectful regardless of gender identity. I’ve had bad bosses across gender and good bosses across gender. It’s our approach to leadership that matters – regardless of the position we happen to hold right then.

Have you ever have to overcome a hostile work environment? 

Yes. Ultimately I always left. Lol. I wish I’d left sooner. “Overcoming it”, is relative to how much damage it will do for you to continue. I don’t really advocate pushing through situations where you are not recognized, are often bullied, and so on. A good employer will affect you for years and so will a less great one. We underestimate the cumulative effect. But this is 2020 for goodness sake. Grow up, everybody. We have choices. I don’t have regrets, generally speaking. But mostly – “put up with less” foolishness. It is not necessary and your absence is sometimes the best lesson – not to mention your success in life – for you and anyone you’ve known.

What made you decide on your chosen field? 

It’s in my blood. Most of my family have cooked or worked in hotels or hospitality. We’re good at it, but also I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of the work. When I get tired of one aspect, I have others I can turn to and still feel fulfilled.

Anything else you would care to share. 

Do what makes you happy. Period.

Chef Patterson has multiple interests including cooking. She enjoys educational food events, brand representation, and freelance writing. She has written for numerous outlets since 2010. Among these were articles for professional chefs or restaurateurs, health-focused magazines, beverage-focused blogs, and writing for video pre-production (Young Bull music video ‘ We Up’). She was one of several culinary rockstar chef contributors for the hurricane relief As Country as Cornbread cookbook by Chef Vivian Howard of ‘A Chef’s Life’ on PBS. Her most recurring role is at WRAL TV’s Out and About blog as a food and entertainment correspondent. She recently was tapped to work with a national brand promotion.

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