Chef Toya specializes in putting a unique twist on New Orleans style dishes and cooks with a Southern flare. As a native New Orleanian, she started honing her culinary skills at a young age and used her talent to kick start a successful career. As a New Orleans personal chef and cooking instructor she enjoys bringing creativity to the kitchen and teaching people how to take a piece of New Orleans back home with them.
Chef Toya has the privilege of teaching visitors from around the world about Louisiana style cooking. She shares culinary tips on her YouTube Channel, Cooking with Chef Toya, where she invites you into her home to cook alongside her. On the national stage, Chef Toya has been featured on Guy’s Grocery Games, TLC, and Food Network showcasing her city, not just through her cuisine, but with her zest for life and personality. She was crowned Best Home Cook by Hallmark’s Home & Family channel and shared her love for the South through a variety New Orleans dishes. She has been a champion for the Gulf Coast region of Louisiana, promoting the seafood industry and has partnered with the several organizations to empower families on cost effective and healthily eating. Chef Toya is also an ambassador for the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, where she works with the organization to elevate and strengthen diversity within the local hospitality and tourism industry.
Chef Toya launched her first cookbook in 2017 dubbed Cook Like A New Orleanian, a collection of twenty classic New Orleans dishes that has inspired her culinary career. She also has the first interactive cookbook from a New Orleans chef that will feature videos, enhanced images, and other media to help the reader recreate New Orleans classics in the comfort of their home. She was also named one of Louisiana’s Best Chef in 2018 and 2019 by the American Culinary Federation of New Orleans. Recently, Chef Toya has launched own signature line of seasoning blends (including Steak, Chicken, Seafood, & All-In-One) that make it easy for anyone in the kitchen to spice up their dishes. She has also launched her own New Orleans based kitchenware which include signature plates, chopping boards, server platters, and much more. Each item was uniquely crafted from her love of New Orleans and her background in the kitchen. When she’s not whipping up creative culinary masterpieces, you can find her recording her podcast, The 5 Senses, a show about how to navigate through life using the same five senses that you would use in the kitchen: touch, sight, smell, sound, and taste.
She has been dubbed a culinary authority on Cajun and Creole cuisine. Chef Toya studied under Chef Ruth Varisco at Nunez College culinary arts program and received her Associates of Applied Science in Food Service Production and Management. When not in the kitchen, you can find her giving back to the community, working with programs that teach new families meal preparations and cooking techniques. She continues to make waves on the culinary scene using her outgoing personality on television and in-person appearances to promote New Orleans cuisine.