How Ayesha Curry Turned Her Passion Project Into A Culinary Career

Listen to the full interview with Ayesha Curry here:

Most of you know Ayesha Curry as Stephen Curry’s wife and loving mother to their two beautiful daughters, Riley and Ryan. The Curry’s are the closest thing to NBA royalty. They’re relatable and down to earth. What you may not know, however, is how Ayesha is sharing her joy of cooking with the world.

Our conversation about her story took place at their wonderful home. As I stepped into the living room I noticed it was immaculate and spotless. The quilted fabric on the furniture reminded me of a Victorian sofa out of a Restoration Hardware magazine. Ironically, Ayesha said that if I walked into the other room it was a complete mess. She explained, “I’m willing to share that with people, I don’t want to pretend to be perfect.”

“I’ve tried my best to be transparent with everything I do. What you see it what you get,” she said. Over the last few years Ayesha has been sharing her experiences and recipes on her blog, YouTube channel, and Instagram. Recently, she’s transitioned from a stay at home mother to a full-time chef and entrepreneur.

Ayesha has published her new cookbook titled The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith, and the Joy of Eating Well. I wanted to find out how she discovered her joy for cooking. And why was she so driven to turn her passion project into a full-time career?

 

Ayesha is Canadian born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her mother is Chinese-Jamaican and her father of Polish-African American decent.

Her parents worked strenuous jobs and quality time with the family was at a premium. “It was at the kitchen table where we had our best (and worst) conversations,” she said. Spending quality time was important and she wants to carry over that tradition to her family.

Ayesha discovered her passion for cooking at a young age. She’d fall asleep to reruns of cooking shows like Rachel Ray on her small, 12-inch television in her bedroom. The moment that changed everything was her 13thbirthday when her parents threw her a cooking party in their kitchen.

Ayesha’s eyes lit up as she reminisced. “My friends and I cooked the day away! That moment made a big impact on me. I didn’t know I could be doing that for a living,” she said.

Ayesha explained that her passion for cooking is what inspired her to focus on her culinary career. She’s racked up 25 million video views on her YouTube channel and she has an astonishing 4.2 million followers on Instagram.

With all this success, she was unsure about writing the cookbook until her friend, Jennifer Aaker, really encouraged her.

“Jennifer invited all these women to my house one night. We drank wine and they shared how they built their brands with me. They said it’s going to be hard, but just go for it!”

Her friends were right; it was a grueling process. Ayesha put her heart and soul into writing the cookbook. Although the publisher offered resources like food stylists, she turned them down. It was her “little baby,” and you could hear in her voice how proud she was to see the hard work come to fruition.

What I love about the book is its authenticity and how Ayesha’s personality shines through the pages. Family photos and stories revolve around the food. The purpose of the cookbook was to create something beautiful and approachable so anyone could feel confident making a dish.

“It’s for the girl who is going to college, or the auntie that has never cooked a day in her life. Stephen doesn’t cook and every time he finishes a dish he’s in disbelief. I’ve really tried to simplify the recipes to make it fun and easy,” she said.

It was then when I recognized that Ayesha’s joy for a home-cooked meal is what brought the family together and how important that was to her. “I can remember what I ate in the most important moments in my life,” she said. Like the time she had a large gathering at her home on Christmas Day when Stephen was playing a big game.

“I don’t even remember the game, but I remember the food. We made lasagna and it was fast and easy. We had paper plates but nobody cared. Everyone was talking, laughing, and enjoying each other,” she said.