“A bold culinary artist with an eagle’s eye for design.“
Culinarian by trade, artist by heart, Rosecleer-Marie’s love of the arts has always influenced her, and is a prominent backdrop to her culinary career. Previously earning a graphics degree it would only be fitting for Rosecleer to attack the culinary world from an artist’s point of view! Vast projects such as food styling, photography, script, set & prop design allows Rosecleer to produce work sharing her culinary passion through artistic expression.
As personal Chef to Founders Kitchen & Bath in Atlanta, GA, Rosecleer is free to create visually stunning plates that range culturally from deeply rooted Soul Food to as far East as Thai. When not creating delicious bites for her clients Rosecleer continuously works on creative projects. As a Food Stylist to Crews Agency in Atlanta, Rosecleer is able to satisfy her passion for art & design through styling on a plate, watching her work come to life through the lens! Rosecleer has worked with SOBEWFF, Cooking Channel, and has styled for Olive Garden and Walmart amongst others.
Recently returning from New York, Rosecleer worked with SeeFood Media behind the scenes on state of the art culinary film productions and print work. While in NYC, Rosecleer also immersed herself at ICE, the Institute of Culinary Education in an in depth Food Styling and Food Photography course. Through this course Rosecleer built a great foundation for the industry taught by some of the most renowned: Chef, food stylist Jamie Tiampo, food photographer James Peterson, and food stylist Laurie Knoop. Rosecleer has just begun on her journey in the creative culinary world and is humbled and grateful for each experience that is sure to set her as a trailblazer in the industry! Always in continued search for growth, Rosecleer looks to pursue work in restaurant consulting and traveling the world creating beautiful dishes as a yacht chef! Keep an eye out for her work in your favorite food magazine or TV show!
There is no love sincerer than the love of food, Rosecleer consistently tries to implement this philosophy to her clients; “Do not be intimidated by food, be honest and true to the ingredients, for only in that moment are you truly cooking from the heart. We introduce a culinary artist with an eagle eye for design in this week’s #ShineHard conversation.
Watch Interview on Youtube
What was your childhood like?
Rosecleer: My childhood was great actually, I grew up in the DMV with my mom, stepfather and my younger brother. We would have weekend BBQ’s over my grandparents’ house, house filled with cousins, aunts and uncles, my grandma would be in the kitchen and my uncle on the grill, the classic Soul Food Family. I’m really close to my grandma, I really consider her like my best friend. I grew up under her wing and in the kitchen! I excelled in schooled and wasn’t a problem child or anything (laughs). Growing up was fairly easy.
Coming from the corporate world, How did you transition into culinary?
Rosecleer: I have the classic story I think a lot of people have, “I was at a 9 to 5 dead end job” or like some, at a 9 to 5 making great money but it’s just not fulling. For me, I was doing well and growing within the company but it wasn’t a healthy environment mentally or emotionally. I wasn’t feeling artistic. I would go home, watch Food Network and cook for myself on the fly. Until one day I had an epiphany. I took a chance, quit my job and dove in. My mom was my biggest cheerleader and she said, “go do it!” Because of her I took that leap!
How did Le Cordon Bleu impact your culinary career?
Rosecleer: Le Cordon Bleu definitely made an impact, it gave me that stamp of approval I was looking for. I already knew how to cook but I wanted to attend culinary school for that certification and respect. I would say attending culinary school can definitely give you a foundation in this industry but it’s truly about talent and networking as in most careers. In the industry people do respect culinary trained chefs but it always boils down to years of experience, have you “cut your teeth yet??” It’s the classical training and the terminology I gained from culinary school, then I ran with that and flourished due to my networking and charm! Whatever you may lack in knowledge you can always get through the door with charm.
Tell us about your experience on The Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen?
Rosecleer: Cutthroat Kitchen is one of my favorite shows on Food Network. I really enjoy Chopped too however Cutthroat Kitchen is all about the “sabotage.” I am actually camera shy and have a little bit of anxiety when in front of a camera so I saw this as an opportunity to overcome this fear and for growth. I submitted my application and they actually contacted me back wanting to move forward with a Skype interview! After the interview I waited patiently for weeks. I was sitting at grandma’s table during Thanksgiving when I got the email saying the producers love you and they want you for the show! They flew me out to L.A. and we filmed, it was an awesome experience to meet Alton Brown as well as the other chefs and to simply gain so much exposure. It’s still exciting to see alerts, notifications and follows from when my episode airs!
What is the day to day like as a food stylist?
Rosecleer: Food styling is another avenue that I broke into with culinary. I love it. As a personal chef I am able to provide beautiful food and the experience, but it still left me a bit unfulfilled because it’s much more difficult to create a body of work and as an artist I felt I needed that. I began working as an assistant stylist on corporate accounts and fell in love! This was the best of both worlds for me, cooking and creating beautiful dishes that actually where captured and possibly published versus being consumed! The day to day life of a food stylist is a freelance world, you may work 3 days straight and off for 2 weeks! It’s like a photo shoot but the food is the model!
What is your passion and when did you know?
Rosecleer: Food is one of many passions I have. I had an epiphany in my kitchen thinking to myself, I could make this career and never looked back. I’ve always been an artist, loved the arts and sciences, but that’s the thing you have to pick something and run with it or you’re going to be grabbing at straws for the rest of your life, “jack of all trades master of none”. It’s tough because as creatives we are usually talented at multiple things.
Do you ever experience push back from being a minority?
Rosecleer: Not so much. It’s almost like being a unicorn! They’ve heard of such a thing but to see it in person is so shocking, yet cool! You always have mutual admiration and respect from your fellow female chefs and those who are excited to work with you!. Being a minority in this industry can be great because as you succeed and push through barriers there’s a spotlight on you as well of a sense of responsibility to reach back and uplift others like yourself. It’s a good thing, however sometimes you can be discredited as a Black female chef and not intentionally, but simply out of ignorance and doubt. It is still very much a male dominated industry, people question me all the time while I’m in the grocery store wearing my chef coat in shock, “YOU’RE a chef? Where?” Again, they’ve just seen a unicorn!
What’s one thing you learned in your 20’s that sticks with you today?
Rosecleer: I learned to roll with the punches. I’ve always been very hard on myself. You know a 4.0 student, Magna Cum Laude, that was me. Like most, I set goals for my future to obtain by a certain time and when that time would come and go as I was still growing through the woes of life, it was very frustrating. I had to grow thick skin and say this is YOUR story, yours to write, do not compare your life to others. Once I accepted that I’ve just continued through life rolling with the punches. In my career when I would hear the “no’s” my mom would remind me “That’s okay, that’s a no for a reason” She always helps me put things in perspective…glass half full! The mind is so powerful, words are so powerful, so once I changed my thinking, blessings came flooding!
What inspires you to succeed?
Rosecleer: What inspires me to succeed is the battle with myself! No one is as hard on me as I am! I have huge goals to achieve and I know the steps it’s going to take to get there. Of course the life goals we all look to, inspire me to succeed like family and financial freedom etc. Those are factors that drive me, however I just continue to tackle each goal at a time aspiring to be the best SELF I can be.
What frustrates you about today’s culture?
Rosecleer: The biggest thing that I’ve noticed is everything is a quick fix or “I gotta make it big right now.” With the internet there is so much immediate unfiltered access which makes kids grow up so fast. I’ve had people who want to shadow me for a week and by the next week are calling themselves a “Chef”. This as in any other craft, takes time, blood, sweat and tears! Yes there are tools we all use that can catapult us but if it’s your passion you have to be patient, persistent yes, but patient and hone your craft, that’s when the doors open up!
What advice do you have for people that want to get into the culinary field?
Rosecleer: Find your niche and that will help you choose your direction. Depending on which route you want to go, that will determine the type of degree/certification you wish to obtain as well as the networks you will join. I can’t stress enough how important networking is. You can work one gig with 10 people on the project, that’s 10 more people who know your name and work ethic, it’s a ripple effect from there! There will be times you will have to do things for free initially, but just know that network you made will always come back to you!.There’s a personal chef association and also local dinner clubs that you can get involved in along with social media groups. Build your resume by getting as much experience as you can which may be through a stage, internship, studying abroad, working festivals or simply reaching out to chefs who inspire you. New York, LA, Atlanta, Chicago are all great foodie destinations to look into!
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