How Chef TeAnn keeps things fresh and REAL – the Royal Gazette


Created: Oct 06, 2021 7:50 AM

REAL’s Chef TeAnn Hassell (Photo by Brandon Morrison)

REAL’s Chef TeAnn Hassell (Photo by Brandon Morrison)

When personal chef TeAnn Hassell tells people she can make Johnny Bread dairy-free, she looks dubious.

“They usually don’t believe me until they taste it,” said the owner of restaurant business REAL. “Often they have to taste it to believe it. “

Ms Hassell gave up dairy products a few years ago to improve her health. Then she began to fight the inflammation.

“I made small changes to my diet to naturally reduce inflammation,” she said.

His investigation into a healthier lifestyle led to an interest in plant-based alternatives such as vegan cheese.

During the process, she found that she also enjoys helping others reach their dietary goals by making small lifestyle changes.

“It could be growing your onions in your garden or having fresh basil inside or outside the house,” she said. “Once you make the first choice to use fresh ingredients, you are more likely to continue with so many other options in your diet.”

Ms. Hassell avoids the “health nuts” label. She eats meat. “I make a good steak,” she said. “I make a good fried fish.

She said that what is good for her body may be different for someone else. But, through her cooking and catering, she tries to bring more plant-based meal options to Bermuda.

“As long as the food is colorful, beautiful and tastes great, people often don’t notice that there is no meat,” she said.

Ms Hassell’s culinary journey began in her late teens, when her grandmother Betty Gilbert developed dementia. Mrs. Gilbert had always gathered the family for Sunday dinners.

“When she started to lose her memory, I said we had to preserve this,” Ms. Hassell said. “I started cooking with her and realized that I had a great passion for cooking. I have been cooking with her ever since.

Ms. Hassell graduated from the Culinary Arts Program at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Florida in 2018.

After that, she worked in the banqueting department at the Fairmont Southampton hotel, but found that she preferred a more intimate experience. She loves to see the look on people’s faces when they taste her food for the first time. And she loves to have their feedback.

Ms. Hassell formed REAL in 2019. REAL stands for Real Eating Authentic Love. She takes pride in making everything she serves from scratch and fresh ingredients.

She went there full time after the start of the pandemic.

She now cooks for several clients each week, cooking them meals, snacks and sometimes even school lunches.

“Most of my weekly clients are families,” Ms. Hassell said. “They all have specific dietary restrictions, whether it’s allergies or a plant-based diet. They always say I don’t want to have to think about what’s for dinner every day. They just want to come home and dinner is done and they can just heat it up. “

It also hosts events for up to 25 people.

“I want to bring restaurant quality food to your event,” she said. “I go to your place and cook there. You might have an Airbnb. Depending on the size of the party, I might have a waiter or two or a sous chef to help me get the food out.

The shutdowns and restarts of the pandemic have been tough on his business.

“At the moment, I haven’t had as much work because people don’t come together,” Ms. Hassell said. “My regular weekly clients keep me afloat. When Covid-19 cases start to decline, people want to celebrate life. Then, they are more interested in intimate gatherings than in big parties. This is where I can come in and flourish. “

Ms. Hassell is part of Ignite’s fourth cohort. She has found the Business Acceleration Program to be a great help in making her business more organized and profitable.

“It’s a real blessing to be in the Ignite program,” she said.

One of the main lessons of the program is to put yourself at the center of your entrepreneurship.

“It’s about aligning my business with myself and my beliefs,” she said. “It’s about keeping in mind that if I’m stressed, my staff could be too. Keeping me in mind is the best lesson. You can get lost in the day to day trying to keep things organized. But if I’m not okay, then my business is not okay.

The hardest part was staying motivated.

“Some days I don’t feel like doing anything,” she says. “But I have to do it because I have to meet deadlines and my clients expect things. I don’t think we talk about it enough in entrepreneurship. It can be exhausting, but it is very rewarding to have the freedom and the life that I want to have for myself.

For more information see or dial 705-9163.


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