With family roots in the American South, Jalissa Horton acquired a taste for soul food as a child. By age 13, Jalissa was preparing full-course meals for her family, and she developed her love of cooking making family recipes passed down through generations. Jalissa’s mother nurtured her passion by allowing her to turn their home into a weekend restaurant for family, friends, and co-workers.
In high school, Jalissa learned cooking fundamentals at a culinary vocational program, and then received a scholarship to the prestigious College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University. After earning her degree, she studied Italian cuisine at the Florence University of Arts School of Culinary Arts in Italy.
A new member of FIN’s Food Business Incubator, Jalissa is continuing her culinary journey through her business, which specializes in scrumptious food based on fresh, in-season local ingredients.
Check out Chef Jalissa’s website, and read our Q&A with her:
Tell us about your business.
We create products for fellow “foodies” who live for delicious food and love unique culinary experiences.
What makes your business unique?
We present a fusion of Southern American cuisine and international spices to create a unique experience. I take pride in making everything from scratch, using authentic and natural ingredients for all dishes.
What inspired you to start this business?
I started this business because I love to cook for others — my food is authentic and made with love. I have spent my entire career in the restaurant industry. I live, eat, and breathe food. It’s not a hobby for me, but a way of life.
What are some of your most popular menu items?
Mouth-watering smoked meats, fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, sweet potato pies and other desserts, specialty ice teas, homemade condiments, and sandwiches.
What’s been the biggest challenge in launching your business, and where did you find help?
Finance has been the biggest hurdle, and FIN has been a big help to me. I have peace of mind now, and I am so excited for the future!