I met Dalal last summer at an Empanada party—that ran out of empanadas—and I’ve been following her on twitter ever since. It took a while before getting around to asking if she’d mind being featured on #avaeats, so I was stoked when she agreed to a little interview.
#avaeats: You and food: who, what, where, when, and why?
Dalal Monroe: I’m Dalal Monroe, self-taught chef and owner of Little Love Catering in Brooklyn, New York. And why—because I loveeeeeeee food and cooking soothes the soul.
#ae: How did you get into the culinary industry?
DM: I grew up in a southern foundation family so cooking was a must know how to do thing. I grew up in the kitchen and food is just so amazing, I educated myself on more until I started to cater for people.
#ae: Is cooking a day job or a side hustle for you?
DM: Cooking is my day job and side hustle: I’m a chef at a private school for kids Monday through Friday.
#ae: What style of cooking do you do?
DM: I can’t say I have a style, I just like people to experience really good food.
#ae: How would you describe your food?
#ae: What are some challenges of being a female chef?
DM: I wouldn’t say there was any challenges honestly, it’s so perfectly balanced between male and female chefs.
#ae: What’s the most memorable meal you’ve eaten?
DM: Omg I’d have to say it was this broccoli and pear salad with lamb—it was freaking amazing!
#ae: What’s the most memorable meal you’ve prepared?
DM: Oh, it was oxtail hash—still is out of this world!
#ae: What’s your favorite cheap eats?
DM: $6 plate from Hardee’s Chinese restaurant.
#ae: What’s your guilty pleasure?
DM: 2 for $1 honey buns from the corner store and sweet potato pies from the chicken spot.
#ae: Who do you admire?
DM: My best friend Chantaye—she’s really amazing. Like me, she’s battled health issues but still pushes through. She graduated with her masters and I cried. She’s my kids godmother, and even miles apart she never misses a holiday or celebration—be it the physical or her sending gifts. She’s been my biggest supporter since we were 16 I’m truly blessed to have her
#ae: Who inspires you?
DM: My daughters, Skylar and Leia—those are my life lines.
#ae: If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?
DM: Lab Clerk work, probably.
#ae: What’s your culinary dream?
DM: That’s a secret.
#ae: What one dish would you choose if it were your last meal?
DM: Surf and Turf with garlic mash and roasted asparagus.
#ae: Any talks of wanting to be a chef from your daughters when they grow up?
DM: They help me a lot now cooking actually but no—so far it’s an lawyer and a movie star.
#ae: Oxtail, BBQ & Jerk Wings, Shrimp Boil, Mac and Cheese, Rasta Pasta, String Beans, Yams, & Cornbread: you tweeted this menu one weekend and I chimed in for details. You said paper box- what is that?
DM: The last event I catered was for -paper box is an event space I get hired to cater at often—that was an Unplugged event by a local artist. I’ve also catered events like hARTlem, The IN House, TNT Mic Series, TRUCKED, Buenos Dias Boatride, Ladies Dine Out, numerous parties, podcast, as well as meal prep for reality stars.
#ae: How can people taste your food?
DM: By placing an order directly with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or catch me at any of the many events I do happen to be catering.