Getting to Know: Adrii's Kitchen
In the bustling world of culinary delights, there exists a realm where creativity, dedication, and entrepreneurship blend harmoniously. Adrianna Colon, known as Chef Adrii, embodies this fusion as the owner and head chef of Adrii's Kitchen & Catering. What started as a humble venture selling dinner plates has blossomed into a thriving catering service, hosting events with up to 500 delighted guests.
We sat down with Chef Adrii to dig into the inspiration behind Adrii's Kitchen and the soulful passion that fuels her culinary enterprise.
From Office Drudgery to Culinary Mastery
Adrii's story is a testament to the power of transformation and following your passion. Prior to becoming a culinary virtuoso, she found herself limited to the monotony of office work that so many are accustomed to. Disenchanted by the routine, she yearned for an escape. It was during her hiatus that she discovered her sanctuary in the kitchen, where her creativity soared without boundaries. This newfound culinary journey was the genesis of Adrii's Kitchen.
"Cooking was a way to just allow myself to be free," Chef Adrii shared. "I call it my happy place. For me, it's just this place where you don't have to think. You don't have to do anything. You get to just allow yourself to be free with the food and create and imagine and do whatever you possibly can."
Adrii's culinary inspirations transcend the kitchen. A fan of the popular show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," she used to watch it with a pen and paper in hand, jotting down ideas and innovations that sparked in her imagination.
Her style gravitates toward dishes with distinctive personalities and explosive flavors, making appetizers her canvas of choice. One of her signature creations, the "avocado salmon bites," is a crispy wonton harboring seasoned salmon adorned with a refreshing avocado salad.
"I really like food that has a personality of its own," she explained, "food that just gives so much flavor and so much in one bite, so that's why we specialize in appetizers."
Navigating the Pandemic Storm
Adrii's Kitchen, like countless others, faced the tempestuous challenges of the pandemic. Their resilience and innovative spirit allowed them to navigate these turbulent waters. They introduced individually packaged meals, ensuring safety and convenience for their patrons. This quick adaptation kept their culinary dream afloat during trying times.But even as things have begun to return to normal, they are still weathering their fair share of highs and lows. June, their busiest month, often contrasts with a quieter July due to changing customer dynamics. However, they've learned to adapt and explore new avenues, always keeping their culinary spark alive.“You just have to be dedicated. You have to believe in your business and put all that you can into it, and then, something will pay off,” said Chef Adrii.
A Lesson in Persistence
Adrii’s journey is proof of her dedication. One of the turning points for her was being invited to the Sun Wine and Food Fest. In 2018, they were declined, but in 2022 they were offered a coveted spot. This experience solidified their place in the culinary world and reflected the transformation of their business from humble beginnings to recognition by prestigious events.
Adrii's Kitchen aspires to be more than a culinary venture; it's a symbol of empowerment. As a black-owned, women-led enterprise, they strive to inspire others to chase their dreams, regardless of their background. Their ultimate goal is to become a premier, exclusive catering service, resonating with those who believe in their potential.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, Chef Adrii offers a simple yet profound piece of advice: "Find something you love to do and find a way to get paid for it." Her journey epitomizes this notion—discovering a passion, honing it, and transforming it into a thriving business.
Adrii's Kitchen harbors exciting plans for the future. They aim to launch their signature sauce line, including a tantalizing "sweet heat" sauce, which promises to captivate taste buds and grace store shelves. This foray into product development marks a significant step in expanding their brand's reach and influence.
Adrii's Kitchen is a testament to the power of passion, creativity, and resilience—a story worth savoring, one delectable dish at a time.