As cliche as it sounds, who is Aunna Douglas? What’s your story?
Aunna is the owner of Aunna Mae’d It LLC. A private chef, full service caterer, & meal prep provider located in Dallas Texas.
How did you get your start in culinary arts and the food industry?
I started my business out of my kitchen in 2016 with just meal preps for my gym friends. Over the years I fell off and on because I still worked full time for a bank as an investigator. It wasn’t until 2019 I encountered some life changing events including losing my grandmother. She was quite the baker while I didn’t inherit that trait fully, during this time I decided to walk in my purpose fully & honor her legacy in the kitchen.
Tell us about your business Aunna Mae’d It, LLC and what you specialize in?
My business is independently owned and operated by me. I believe that my business is bigger than me, it’s a gift from God. I utilize my gift to give back to the less fortunate and bring together a multitude of people. I specialize in brunch and I also have a few specialty dishes which include my signature shrimp & grits, jumbo brioche French toast, honey hot chicken and waffles, loaded Mac & cheese AKA the #BallerBox, & my creamy Cajun pasta. Oh, let’s not forget the cookie pudding!
Who was the first person that really #COSIGNed you as a chef?
I would have to say my parents and my family/ friends, they have all been my taste testers and motivation over the years.
What’s your favorite dish to make and why?
My favorite dish to make, I would say is my shrimp & grits. I love making it and also watching people react to it for the first time & fall in love with the dish. Additionally, I personally love making all types of seafood and soul food!
Has COVID affected your business at all? If so, in what ways and how have you pivoted?
Covid actually pushed me to go harder. It forced to a place of facing my fears. It allowed time for me to sit down for a minute and really hear God clearly. I knew it was time to hit the ground running. It did take a few slow turns due to city ordinances. However, smaller group gatherings picked up and I’ve done a lot more private house calls during this time and have been able to expand my brand significantly. I’ve been blessed to work with so many people during this time including celebrities.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who wants to become a chef?
My advice is trust God. Pray a lot, and make sure you’re putting in work behind those prayers. You can’t manifest anything without prayer & a plan. Secondly, Don’t let anyone stop you, or make you feel like you can’t do it without them, whatever God has for you is for you. I know it seems like everyone is making plates or everyone wants to cook, but one of my favorite sayings is “I can give you the recipe but the sauce won’t be the same”That means there’s only one YOU, no one can do YOU better than YOU remember that. Lastly I constantly remind myself, especially when I’m feeling discouraged, that no matter what difficulties I face, no matter what doors close on me GOD still has a plan. I live by this scripture: “For I know the plans I have for you” Declares The Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” -Jeremiah 29:11
Last year you won a COSIGN Award, tell us what do you owe your support to?
I may sound redundant but I owe it first to God, I can’t do any of this without the man above keeping His hand on my life, secondly owe that support to everyone who voted, who posted, who tagged me, my family, my friends, my clients. I truly have an amazing support system.What do you think separates you from other chefs?-What separates me is that I truly love what I do. I cook with passion not just for a paycheck. My gift is bigger than me, serving is my ministry. I’m also very supportive of other chefs which is rare in this industry. I believe there’s enough room for us all to win.
If you could shadow any chef who would it be and why?
If I could shadow a chef it would be Gabby! We went to school together at Desoto and she’s blossomed from a quiet girl in Advanced biology class selling cookies into such a beautiful girl boss writing cook books and becoming a talented dope chef. To us she’s gabby, but to the world She’s Chef Gabrielle McBay. I admire her strength, ambition, & drive. She recently relocated to Los Angeles. I know she’s always a phone call away with the best business advice, but I do want to work with her in the kitchen in the future.
Last but not least, who are a few chefs you #COSIGN?
- Chef Gabrielle McBay @GabrielleMcbay
- Chef Bear -Shavon Smoot @SkinnyPigCafe
- Chef Fields – @FieldofGreensDFW
- Chef Ty- @ChefTyFraz
- Chef Eddie @ChefEddiie
- Chef James- @ogveganchefjames