Source: Mecca Bos
“I’m a picky eater and this girl can cook! This girl can throw down!”
That’s Miriam Omari talking about her life and business partner chef Kotiareenia Taylor, and together they form K’s Revolutionary Catering & More.
While Omari is the management behind the operation, Taylor is the “culinary capital,” and when the two mind-melded to form a business, Taylor insisted on having “Chef K” as she’s known, as the brand. Without it, she says, they’d be nothing.
While working with your partner is potentially an additional challenge to the already difficult endeavor of entrepreneurship, the two say they “have enough skin in the game” as mature women to make it work.
“We stay in our own lanes. When she’s got her coat on, she’s Chef K. That’s it,” says Taylor.
“By the grace of God” is how they describe their coming together, with Chef K as a longtime professional chef who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, and went on to work in Twin Cities kitchens such as Lucia’s, Common Roots, and Faces Mears Park. Omari has worked the front of house for 25 years, serving and working front of the house at Loring Pasta Bar, Tiny Diner, and many others. It was natural that the couple would bond over food, but they never knew exactly how deep that bond would run.
Omari has been a pescatarian (someone who doesn’t eat animal protein except fish) since the age of 15, and Taylor, in spite of her love of cooking, has many allergies related to food. So the two went on a quest to not only eat together, but to create a strong repertoire of ultra-healthful African American and African cooking. Their mantra is “sharing the wealth of health without sacrificing flavor.” The “revolution” in their name refers to that discovery.
Taylor’s family hails from New Orleans, and her cooking is influenced by the rich culinary history of the French and African confluence of Creole cuisine. Omari grew up in an East African family, and she says, giving up meat when she was just a teenager “just wasn’t the popular thing to do.” So at an early age, she had to figure out how to fend for herself by eating what everyone else was, adjusting it in ways that she considered a “cleaner” manner.
Their own struggles around finding food that’s good for you but also tastes great makes them hyper-aware of their client’s dietary needs too, and as a result, they’re filling an important niche in African-influenced cooking. While they tailor every menu for each individual client, their food is marked by influences from all over the diaspora, and you can expect plenty of curry, cumin, and spice. A favorite signature is Maharagwe, a Kenyan red kidney bean dish cooked in coconut milk. It’s a great example of their culinary point of view: “It might not have any meat in it, but it tastes so good you’re not even going to be worried about it! Your palate will be doing backflips!”
Their dream is to get their “Stay Well Tonic” bottled and on store shelves. With the delicious healing properties of turmeric, ginger, honey, and black pepper, the beverage is great hot or cold, and helps with inflammation, congestion, and menstrual pain among other common ailments.
The pair commend the Northside Food Business Incubator Program (NFBI) for the
step-by-step accessibility and for helping them make business moves in a logical manner so they’re not in danger of getting in over their heads.
About the Author:
Mecca Bos has always been envious of other writer’s clever bios. The cleverest thing she’s ever accomplished is managing to turn a love of eating, drinking, and parties into a career of sorts. It doesn't pay much, but the dividends in friendships and truffle fries are bountiful. In between bites, she writes for various national and local publications. She also works the odd shift in random professional kitchens. You can see more of her work at meccabos.com