Women Of Impact: Chef Quiana Jeffries
If the cards were dealt differently, Quiana Jeffries would be a world-renowned WNBA player, instead of Chef Q, as she is known in the culinary community. But, in 1998, starting a new life in a new high school with no basketball, Quiana, had to shift gears and find a different passion, one that she found in a Home Ed class. Trading the rhythm of basketball on the court to the beats of cooking in the kitchen, Chef Quiana Jeffries brings a transcendent approach to her food.
In 2005, after graduating from California Culinary Arts School Le Cordon Blue in Pasadena, she began her journey into the culinary world, working at Otis Jackson’s Soul Dog in North Hollywood. Named L.A. Weekly’s Best Readers Poll Winner for ‘Best Soul Food’ in 2012, she took her culinary skills into the home of a world-renowned boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr., where she also prepared meals for other celebrities dining with him on occasion. Her clients have been varied throughout the years, from family homes to cooking for celebrities such as Tony Gaskins, Steve Harvey, and Cardi B.
Her inspiration comes from her ‘Granny’, Inez Shoemaker, who made her food with a whole lot of love.
“I am grateful for the strong women in my family; the very women who embody strength, dignity, and love. They recognized within me at a young age my curiosity for food. Wanting to know how food could become magically transformed into delectable dishes, ‘Granny’ took me under her wings. With a spoon in the right hand and a pot in the left; I began to learn the basics that would later transform me into the Chef I am today. There’s a unique story and piece of family in every dish I prepare – every dish prepared with passion, soul, and most importantly love,” shares Chef Q on her website.
Today, Chef Q owns and runs Chefism, her private catering company standing by the creed of “We FEED souls – not bellies.” She believes that the best part of cooking is “having the ability to transfer energy into physical form that can be swallowed.” Beyond the kitchen, this chef-turned-life-coach bares her soul and shares her thoughts and emotions in her book, Nineteen Eighty Two.
With her twin sister Ciara, Chef Q launched her food truck, Chefism The Soul Feeder, along with The 143 Project, her personal program to feed the homeless population and to address food inequalities, starting with the city of L.A. and its neighboring areas. Every full meal purchased by a customer, a meal to two homeless individuals is given away for free. Some of those meals were donated to About My Father’s Business at one of their outreach events in the San Fernando Valley.
To learn more about Chef Q, her food, and her mission, visit her website and follow her on Instagram @chefism and on Facebook @chefismthesoulfeedertruck.