Chef Vonda McPherson
Tell us about yourself!
Vonda MacPherson, is a self taught Culinary Chef who has been cooking most of her life. She worked in Corporate America as a Account Executive for Medical Device Companies specializing in Interventional Cardiology, selling coronary stints in the NY/NJ region She left the security of a successful corporate career to open her first restaurant, BBQ, in a bustling downtown business district of Elizabeth, in 1988. Next came Vonda Catering and Events, then The Greenhouse Cafe, in partnership with the Newark Housing Authority, to bring healthier fare to a cafeteria setting. And, for sit down dining or take out, there are soul food classics with innovative twists at Vonda's Kitchen, 183-185 West Kinney Street, Newark, NJ. She also became the first African American to own a jazz super club in the City of Newark in nearly 40 years when she launched, Duke’s Southern Table.
Restaurant Affiliation: Vonda's Kitchen
What made you become a chef?
I have always cooked and entertained with my friends, however I entered into Corporate America and worked there for approximately 11 years. One day while walking home from the ferry to my house in Jersey City I just realized that I wasn’t doing something that I loved, even though I was in sales and I was making a lot of money, I just simply wanted to do something that I loved and do something with my hands, and I took that interest to my boss at the time and his opinion was that opening a restaurant was a risky business and he wasn’t for it, but he also encouraged me to try it, if it was something I really wanted to do. So I tried it and I never looked back.
What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie? Trefoils