Recently, Black Talent TV had the pleasure of interviewing an individual who is already becoming a culinary superstar and this talented woman is known as Glynis Albright. Born in New Orleans, LA, Glynis began using her parents’ kitchen to prepare meals and bake all sorts of desserts by the time she was 10 years old. During college, she would make waffles, pancakes, crepes, and French toast for her friends. After, she married her junior high school sweetheart, musician Gerald Albright and by 2008, people from all over the world wanted a taste of Glynis’ fried chicken, waffles, and many other foods.
After being diagnosed with a rare blood disease, Glynis decided to look into the naturopathic route of healing to “give my doctors the best body that I could have, considering the circumstances.” She continues, “As I began to see results in my own health, I pushed forward by creating and sharing a gourmet line of delicious treats for other people suffering like me. During my toughest bout with leukemia, Just Sweet Enough® was born. Creating Just Sweet Enough® just wasn’t enough. I wanted to also help others suffering from health challenges unlike my own. I went back to school at night, earning my PhD in Natural Health/Food Science so that I could deliver high quality products, share my knowledge of nutrition with others, and work with other doctors in various fields to help their patients. After meeting with Dr. MAL Fobi, creator of the Fobi Pouch, a form of gastric bypass surgery, I created Cookie Dots® for his patients and others. Major cruise lines, The Food Network, morning shows, various church groups and organizations have invited me to share my testimony as a survivor and my experience of choosing faith, family, and food.”
Check out our interview with Glynis Albright she gives advice to anyone wanting to pursue a culinary career, what’s next for her, and more below.
1-At what moment did you realize you wanted to really pursue a culinary career?
January of 1994-the end of 1996, I faced TWO of the hardest years of my life. I was dealing with a health challenge that changed the complete course of my life as well as the lives of all of my family members. Given the advice from one of my doctors to not only change my diet but to also radically change my life style, it forced me to make some tough decisions.
Although I ate well, I had poor eating habits. That had to change. No more eating on the run, skipping meals, and sometimes forgetting to eat at all. I had to regulate my time and only deal with things and people that were most important to me and which ONLY brought me joy. This meant I had to stop giving up free business advice, being Dr. Phil and Susie Homemaker to every friend in need, not working long hours past midnight, getting rid of stress, sleeping at least 6-8 hours a night, and cutting off family and so-called friends who I knew were toxic but held on to them anyway. I had to hang up my SuperWoman cape and place all of my energy towards healing and being positive. I was in for the fight of my life and there was no room for anything less than that.
I buckled down, combined all of my God-given talents with talents that I’d honed educationally, and created foods that were good for me (and people like me). The end result was a dessert line that contains nutrients that would assist in my healing. I shared these treats with others.
It was the feedback from others that gave me the courage needed to move forward in the culinary field.
2-Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is any person I meet who is dealing with a challenge. Their challenge gives me the fuel that is needed to figure out how to make their situation better. Not only would I be helping that person but the elements needed to help him/her are also added to various ways that my business can change and grow.
3-What your favorite meal/pastry to make?
My favorite complete go-to meal to prepare are my waffles, caramel syrup, fried chicken, fresh lemonade, and banana puddin’. It became THE meal prepared when any of our friends visit, since the late 90’s.
4-You have some amazing awards under your belt. Which award surprised you the most?
November of 2015, the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce presented me their Chairman’s Award (Business and Community Service). There is nothing like being recognized by your own people.
I was surprised! It blew me away. I have been a bonafide businesswoman since the late 70’s and have always done community service. In my family it was a must, as well as most of the organizations that I have been affiliated with.
We’ve lived in the Denver area since 2005. To be reminded that people are seeing and experiencing your passion and then rewarding you for all that you do is a wonderful feeling.
5-You and your husband, Gerald, were even honored at the Berks Jazz Festival. What was your reaction when you found out you two were being honored?
I was blown away. The early surprise 60th birthday party was great in itself but for the party to be televised, my husband to be acknowledged for all of the years he has been a part of Berks Jazz Festival, and for Gerald’s fan club president and members to put together such a HUGE presentation of videos, food, cakes, cards, music, and dance — it was an event I will never forget.
6-Your products have been given amazing testimonials by celebrities like Alicia Keys, John Legend, Martin Lawrence, Sinbad, Oprah Winfrey, and Kirk Franklin. How does it feel to know even celebrities love your products?
It feels good. Celebrities are just people too. They have needs and health issues like everyone else.
It feels great to know that they love my foods. May it be a health challenge, wanting to eat better, or to prevent any future issues, I am happy when anyone loves my foods.
7-As a woman who wears so many hats, what’s one thing you like to do whenever you have a spare time?
I love spending time with my adult kids. Family means everything to me.
We have been empty nesters since 2007. When our adult kids visit, it’s nice having their energy back in our home. Both Selina and Brandon are comical as heck although their personalities are like night and day.
8-For someone who is first being introduced to M.A.N.E, your non-profit organization and would like to possibly participate/donate, what’s one thing you want them to know about it right off the bat?
I let everyone know that one of the core things that M.A.N.E. does is to help women (and men) replace their mane (hair) if it has been lost due to various therapies, medications, and illnesses. The acronym is also a play on words. Although M.A.N.E. assists others in the areas of skin care, nail care, dental care, and weight management, HAIR is the main (MANE) thing.
9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a culinary career?
I do give advice when asked. I always tell anyone who is pursuing a culinary career that there are no short cuts. If told there is one, they end up paying for it later, at which time it may cost them even more. My advice is to be sure to take their time and not make hasty decisions because others are pushing them to do so. Make a decision what part of the culinary industry they really want to be involved in — a chef, a pastry chef, food stylist, food photographer, manage a restaurant, nutritionist, a baker… like any other business, there are various facets of the culinary industry and one must decide where they fit.
10-What is next for Glynis Albright?
Next is to continue traveling the world with Glynis’ Kitchen popping up wherever I go. Glynis’ Kitchen products will release two new items: Glynis’ Kitchen Scratch Mix will be released in June and Glynis’ Caramel Spice Syrup will be released before Christmas. Glynis’ Poultry Coating Mix is Renamed Glynis’ Kitchen All Purpose Coating Mix since it can be used for any meats and veggies. All of the NEW Glynis’ Kitchen Products are Kosher Certified.
VISIT Glynis Albright’s official website.
Photo Credit: Glynis Albright