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On the Other Side of 223/122

Welcome to my first blog post. I am excited about sharing tips and solutions to help you with your culinary needs, whether you are a busy professional trying to feed your family, or a corporate planner looking for solutions for your events. As the holidays approach, I hope this blog post will help you gain wisdom about making healthy choices and expand your gratitude barometer. This is an excerpt from my book Good Food Good Meat: Praise The Lord, Let's Eat, which you may purchase here.


Chef Cassondra Shares Her Story at the Let Me Entertain You! Cooking Demo hosted by the Alpha Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, Nov 19, 2016, at the African American Museum, Dallas, TX. Photos by Stephanie Ward.


On June 7, 2013, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to go to the emergency room at a hospital in Mansfield, TX, because of a recent fall, and I felt dizzy. I was shocked when a doctor told me my blood pressure was “223/122.” I could tell by the look on his face, the urgency in his voice along with my knowledge of hypertension, that this was not good.

In fact, the doctor said if I had any combination of other health issues going on in my body, i.e., overweight, heavy smoker, heavy drinker, heart, kidney or cholesterol problems, I could have had a massive stroke, died, or been incapacitated.

Looking back on that experience not only makes me more grateful that I went to the hospital, but it empowers me to continue helping others. I knew I had to get more involved in helping my community make healthy living a priority. Now, it is my desire to share a message of abundant life and health, with all.


You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

When I was a young girl, my grandmother made sure that I was socially astute and that my palate was accustomed to the cuisines of the rich and famous. Food has always been in my life. In fact, back then you could find me assisting my grandmother and my mother in somebody’s kitchen every Friday night. They were hired to cater for all types of occasions. I recall when they worked with the top three caterers in the area.

However, when it was time for me to go to college, believe it or not, I did not go to Chef School. At first, I attended Dallas Baptist University and graduated with a BS degree in Business Administration. During these years, I never considered going into Culinary Arts as a career path. However, life has a way of reconnecting us with our destiny, and it was in 1988 that I was transitioning again that God allowed a client who is now my Jewish mom, Rena, to bring clarity and direction into my life.


A New Path Unfolds

Rena said, “Cassondra, this is what you are going to do. You are going to go to SMU, and take [a course] “Entrepreneurial Guide to Starting a Business,” and then you are going to enroll in El Centro College’s Culinary Program and become a Chef.” After listening to her command, I could see how my past and my future were finally going to merge. So, I did what my Jewish Mom said, and this is why I am a chef today.

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