Our first feature for #BlackFoodFridays is FairyFresh Foods, a completely plant-based personal chef service created by entrepreneur Shaquille Fontenot. Established in 2019, FairyFresh is driven by a passion to educate on the healing powers of plant-based foods, and doing so in a fun and accessible way. I spent an afternoon earlier this month with Shaquille hearing what inspired FairyFresh while she prepared a fan favorite dish for us to enjoy. Read on as we discuss why plant-based foods are a cornerstone to the FairyFresh mission, the importance of accessible and healthy food options, and what’s to come for this Black-owned company.
What inspired the plant-based focus that is at the core of FairyFresh?
Back in 2015, my body completely shut down after extended exposure to black mold. I was fainting randomly, plagued by fatigue, and overall very, grey and unhealthy looking! It was a scary time because I was being tested for lymphoma and other invasive cancers, but the treatments offered didn’t sit well with me. I felt steroids and prescription drugs were going to do more harm to my body than good. Before starting FairyFresh, I was always interested in the historical ways people healed their bodies and naturally supported their well-being. I did years of research looking into natural remedies for common ailments and illnesses, including my own, and I was able to heal myself by just switching up my diet and trying herbal medicine! I wanted to extend this same healing opportunity to anyone who tried our food or decided to work with me. Once I had a few years to make sure I got it right, FairyFresh was born.
Since its inception, access to affordable, healthy food options is something that continues to be a central value at the heart of FairyFresh Foods. Why is this so important to you personally?
I taught for a short period of time in Louisiana and Mississippi, and there was a clear contrast between the learning outcomes outlined for students living in poverty and students whose parents had more access to resources. Of those students in poverty, 99% of them were on free and reduced lunch, and were being fed foods that were determined by private contracts with distribution companies. I was really appalled at how these kids were being treated, and the little agency that busy parents had to support their children’s dietary or nutritional needs. After teaching, living, and working in food deserts, I felt it would be beneficial for me to come up with services and products that would not only provide more healthy options, but were also affordable and attractive enough to appeal to the communities FairyFresh aimed to serve.
FairyFresh Foods initially began as a plant-based meal service and has grown much over the past year. With the current pandemic however, you have had to pivot a bit. How have you done so, and what’s next for FairyFresh Foods?
We, like so many others, have been forced to pivot during this time, and are often doing so with product development for an at-home healing experience. As for FairyFresh, we are currently working on a new suite of products including infused oils, dry herb blends, and sauce mixes, so people can experience the FairyFresh world in a new way. We expect to launch this time next month, and Jai Eats will have an exclusive coupon code for readers to use as well. :)
With COVID-19, you’ve had to temporarily halt your meal-prep services, but there are other ways to experience FairyFresh Foods at home. Can you talk more about that and what to expect?
We offer contact-free dining for special events including date nights and intimate family celebrations. We also package and plate everything in a way that inspires the restaurant or catering experience at home. Because we get booked up fairly quickly, we’ll be pushing our new product line and looking for ways to connect and collaborate with other chefs and local restaurants in the future.
How can people learn more about FairyFresh and stay updated with everything that is to come?
You can follow us on social media @fairyfreshfoods. We’re most active on Instagram and also have a site up: www.FairyFreshFoods.com. You can find the answers to a lot of FAQs here and be the first to know about our product launch! We love hearing back from our clients and their input actually determines what we do every week!
Green-chili Mac and Cheez with Buffalo Chik’n + 815 sauce (plant-based)
I love this dish because the depth of flavor is so intense in the green-chili mac sauce, but it’s still really quick and easy to make at home. It’s a fan favorite among our clients, whenever we host our pop-ups or include it in prepped meals. We’ll have a version of this cheez sauce available for purchase on our site later in August, but the secret ingredients for this particular dish are Original Red Clay Hot Sauce and Red Clay Hot Honey (the habanero pepper gives a perfect kick)!
The 815 sauce is a plant-based buffalo ranch made with vegan mayo, liquid smoke, lemon juice, and Original Red Clay Hot Sauce! It’s perfect for drizzling over pastas, pizza, using as a fry dip, and more!
To learn more about Black Food Fridays, please visit their website BlackFoodFridays.com.
Written by Jai Jones (Jai Eats)