SB: Years ago, before you even started in the food industry, you were on the cover of SB Magazine’s food issue (August 2014). How has life changed since then?

MC: I had just had my son, Wilder. I had a friend working at the magazine at the time and she asked me if I’d come in and do the shoot. A year later, I started Prepped Up Meals. I had taken the real estate exam and was an agent in San Antonio. I started cooking meals for people out of my house while I was doing that. There wasn’t anything in town like that and after giving real estate a go, God redirected my course. I struggled with finding my purpose. I liked to cook but I wasn’t a trained chef. I tried it and people bought it. There was a line at my door and the business grew very quickly. Within three months, we got a commercial kitchen. The community supported it. My now husband, Mario, and my assistant Megan Morris always told me I needed a dream board because I had all these ideas. One day, in 2016, I was at the gym and saw Mario. After my workout, I went outside to my car and there’s note on it with my three goals and dates by them. I wanted to own a restaurant by the time I was 30. I got my Certificate of Occupancy for Tempo on my 29th birthday.

SB: If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life what would it be?

MC: OK, I can’t choose only one so I’ll choose two. There’s a restaurant in Washington, D.C. called Front Page and their French onion soup is absolutely amazing. My second one is unique. In Caye Caulker, Belize, there’s a guy that cooks on the side of the road and he makes something called street chicken served with stewed veggies (like a slaw) and coconut rice. It’s like jerk chicken and it’s delicious.

SB: What’s your favorite part about what you do?

MC: When you cook for someone it’s kind of like a part of you. With Prepped Up Meals, it’s like I’m helping people accomplish goals and solve health issues. With Tempo, it’s cool to have a place where the staff understands that someone can request anything and they’ll get it. Like if they have allergies, we will do our best to work around them and substitute what we need to for them. Food makes people happy. Someone can be in the worst mood, have a good meal and their mood changes.

SB: Physical fitness is a huge part of your life. How does what you do professionally bleed into that part of your life since diet and fitness go hand-in-hand?

MC: It’s about balance and making time for taking care of myself. I prioritize what’s important. If I neglect my physical health, it affects my business and daily life. You have to take care of the moneymaker. Fitness transitions to success.

SB: If you could have dinner with any three people (alive or dead) who would they be and why?

MC: My grandmother would be one for sure. She raised me and taught me everything about food. The things that bothered me about her growing up…I have those traits now. The next would be 16-year-old me. At 16, I didn’t know where I belonged. I struggled with purpose and I was desperate to feel wanted and needed. Sitting down with her would have changed my whole course. Last, I’d have dinner with Sean Brock. He’s an incredible chef who lost his vision at one point and got it back. His grandmother taught him, and old ways and traditions of doing things is what he’s about. 

Tempo Eatery is located in the Shreveport Downtown Airport at 1550 Airport Drive in Shreveport.