Create & Cultivate 100: Food: Ayesha Curry

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Food is Ayesha Curry’s love language.

Building relationships and fostering connection through home cooking is one of the many talents that make this multi-dimensional, multi-tasking, multi-hyphenate mama so remarkable. Motherhood is her muse, and she feels closest to her faith with her kids in the kitchen. She says it’s where her balance begins and she can just “be.”

Given the amount on her plate in 2019, balance will be critical. From TV hosting to launching restaurants to developing cookbooks to her latest venture, winemaking, America’s Sweetheart will be on her grind.

What is your process for recipe development? Where do you source your inspiration from?

Try, try, try again... I love to cook with seasonal ingredients, so I usually find inspiration at my local farmers market or grocery store. I also like to take dishes I’ve had out at restaurants, say on a date night, and recreate them at home. I love taking an elevated dish and figuring out how to make it more approachable.

You’ve recently delved into winemaking. What has been your hardest challenge so far—TV, cookbook writing, winemaking or restaurant-starting and why?

Hands down the cookbook, because I took on every aspect of it from the recipe development to the food styling to the photography. I was very hands on.

You must know the Bay Area inside out. What are your favorite food spots in the city you call home?

International Smoke, Michael Mina and Pabu when I’m feeling sassy and want some sushi.

If you could have a meal with someone, living or deceased, who would it be?

Prince.

What about your job makes you feel the most fulfilled?

When I see families coming together and building stronger relationships through food.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t take no for an answer, and that it’s OK to be imperfect.

What’s been the biggest surprise or highlight of your career to date?

Highlight: Forbes 30 Under 30!

Where does your passion/drive come from?

Watching my mom work so hard growing up instilled in me an entrepreneurial spirit. I love to have an idea and watch it manifest into something bigger.

What keeps you up at night?

Right now, my 5-month old! But sadly, a lot of times it’s a to-do list.

Whose career really inspires you?

Jessica Alba. Michelle Obama.

What has been your biggest opportunity or biggest challenge as a business owner?

Figuring out how to turn negatives into positives. Take the mistakes and failures and make something out of them.

Take the mistakes and failures and make something out of them.

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What are the common challenges you've seen among women in the food industry?

Being taken seriously, and making sure that our opinions are heard and matter.

When you hit a bump or hurdle in your career, how do you find a new road + switch gears to find success?

You just persevere.

What are you most excited for in 2019?

The relaunch of my new food and lifestyle destination website, Homemade, the expansion of my restaurant concept International Smoke, and the premiere of Family Food Fight (my new show for ABC, which I host and executive produce).

VIEW THE FULL CREATE & CULTIVATE FOOD LIST HERE