We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Calle and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, how does your business help the community or world?
I used to post me in the kitchen just for fun. I would have fun sharing things I made with people. I started getting messages about how I should share all my stuff more regularly. Then I received messages from people who didn’t even know how to boil water (literally) and needed help with basic cooking questions. I have always answered each and every question I received personally. I was surprised and shocked how many people did not know how to prepare a basic meal. It honestly stunned me beyond belief. I was raised in a home where we mostly ate at home and meals were prepared by my mom, aunts and grandmother. Through conversation with these people messaging me, It honestly made me sad to see how many people relied on fast food and meal delivery services. Growing up- for me; fast food was a luxury and we never had any type of delivery services. I know today’s world is different and has evolved however- I also care a lot about what I eat, put in my body, and most importantly where things come from. Not that our family couldn’t afford fast food or a special meal out, we just really enjoyed things made at home. We also always cooked together as a family and really enjoyed preparing meals together. I felt I needed to get more involved with my community. Especially working parents to help them find easy homemade solutions that would work for their day-to-day routines. I’m a mom too who works a full time job and I still ensure a home cooked meal is served for dinner on most nights. I started to speak more to people and saw that they were very scared and intimidated with cooking. Again- shocker! because I personally find it so easy and satisfying. I started to come up with a different approach that wasn’t so scary and that people might find less intimidating. I decided to provide people with basic step by step instructions for basic recipes to help them build more confidence in the kitchen. The most rewarding thing has been seeing people re-posting things they made that I inspired them to do. My goal is to get more people in the kitchen and to cook together with their families. The memories of my childhood include just that- lots of food, home cooking and togetherness. If more people cooked at home I think it would build better bonds within families. It would help start traditions, and it would also most definitely be a healthier choice versus eating out so often. I love restaurants too, don’t get me wrong. I just like to save my outings for something special and I also love to save money! Eating at home can also save lots of money for families as well. More money can mean even more memories made with more travels or investing in things to help build skills. I feel my availability and responsiveness to those messages I get- makes it a little less scary and a little less intimidating because my followers know that I will answer them. I help them personally with any help they need because I am a real person and people want to talk to a real person now-a-days. I get the “this may be a stupid question but-….” pretty often and I honestly don’t mind it one bit. I’m hoping to bring a more personal and open experience to those who want to learn more about cooking and their time in the kitchen.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I didn’t have the best and easiest upbringing. There was a lot I had to learn to do on my own. My parents divorced when I was 11 and there were a lot of back and forth visits. The fighting was not fun and I pretty much emancipated myself at the age of 16 and got my first job so that I could earn my own money and have my own things. My mother struggled with addiction and my dad worked hard to provide for us. I moved in with my grandmother and by the age of 18, I moved out on my own. It was always important to me to do well in school so that I could live a different life than what I saw growing up. I overcame many adversities but I never quit. I didn’t have much family support as family dynamics changed over the years. I worked full time and studied full time while in college. Studying and working and having to pay rent wasn’t easy. But I did it! I knew my sacrifice would ensure future job security and the financial stability that I always needed and wanted. I studied and graduated with a double Bachelors degree from Miami Dade College in 2006 with a major in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Management. I was and have always been very proud of the fact that I was the first person in my family to go to college, graduate, and earn my degree. Another proud moment was receiving the American Legion Award in high school which gave me a full ride scholarship to attend college. I currently work as a Paralegal for a government entity in South Florida. I want people to know that you can do anything you set your mind and heart to. No matter our environments growing up- we do not have to be a PRODUCT of our environment. It is okay to want and to crave more. I knew that I always meant for more. Working in the public sector also allowed me to work more with the community and the public. I’ve always enjoyed helping people to essentially have to avoid unnecessary struggles. I struggled enough and did a lot on my own. If I can help save you some time or money, then I’ve done my duty.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Some of my favorite places to visit in South Florida display the culture that I soooo love! It’s been said time and time again how South Florida is a melting pot of different people and cultures. If my best friend were visiting for the first time we are definitely staying at the Epic or Viceroy hotel. I’m a fan of the W Miami as well. I love all the views! Great food can be found at the Brickell areas for the sights but I’m a Wynwood kinda girl. I love the arts, paintings and the people. Great tacos and food variety keep me coming back, R House is one of my favorites! I love the drag show and the staff there is awesome. I celebrated my bachelorette party there and we had so much fun! I would also take her to Little Haiti for a game of dominos at the domino park. We would also most definitely go to the beaches here. South beach is a must for tourists and so is the Versace mansion. I can never forget the city I am from, HIALEAH! My favorite places are Stephens Deli, local and upcoming boutique shops such as Shop Famosa and Empire Boutique that display the culture that is MIAMI. Unique items that scream 305 are the perfect souveniers.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My kids and my husband definitely motivate me to keep a variety going in the kitchen. They have a lot of say in the weeks rotation of meals I’ll tell you that much. Their tastes are still changing and developing so what works one week- they may not want the next week. I’m always up for the challenge. I dedicate all my success to them!

Instagram: foodn_ash
Other: cravve app: foodn_ash linktree: ashlovesfood

Image Credits
Cortiella Photography Red Lips Makeup Artistry

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