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Daily Inspiration: Meet Alanna Dennis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alanna Dennis.

Hi Alanna, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am originally from Montgomery, AL and a 2004 Cum Laude graduate of the International Le Cordon Bleu program. I have worked in a number of professional & pastry kitchens across Alabama & Central Florida including Beale Street Blues Company’s Itta Bena restaurant, the UCF Radisson steak house, & Gaylord Palms Resort, also working with various catering companies at major events, such as the Disney Golf Classic.

I spent my free time in the kitchen with my mother and grandmothers. We each enjoyed baking biscuits, cakes and pies from scratch, as well as, cooking fresh produce from my grandfather’s garden. I am most inspired by memories of how, in their own ways, my grandparents fed their respective communities.

Growing up, my mother was “the cake lady”. Every year during the holidays our house was always overrun with a variety of cakes. One of my favorite memories is stealing my mom’s cake batter to bake my own cakes in my Easy Bake Oven! My maternal grandmother was the first lady of a traditional Southern Baptist Church located in an under-served community. Under her guidance, we cooked meals each week to serve after church service or even sell plates on the weekends to raise money for the church. My paternal grandfather grew a variety of produce in his back yard that he would distribute to family members and neighbors alike. Growing up in such a caring and giving environment has embedded not only the importance of good food, but also a sense of community. Because of my “roots”, I strive to offer traditional “southern hospitality” served with fresh, farm to table, nutritious gourmet foods.

Alanna’s Gourmet focuses on producing the highest quality product possible utilizing locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. In an effort to do this, I not only grow microgreens, but I have carefully groomed relationships with local produce and cattle farmers, beekeepers, and others.

Gourmet foods demand higher quality ingredients. As an experienced chef, I employ a variety of cooking and mixing methods to carefully layer a variety of flavors to create mouthwatering deliciousness! Our products demand a certain level of care, which means more time is spent doing things by hand and crafting the final product to meet professional grade standards.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The most difficult aspect has been learning the nuances of the food service industry and surviving a pandemic as a small business.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
As a chef & culinary artist, I love to present traditionally southern dishes in unexpected ways. I am a private chef who specializes in small (50 guests or less) “high-end” private events. I am most proud of successfully transitioning from the tech industry to the culinary world. I think my emphasis on high quality ingredients and focus on farm to table ingredients helps to set me apart.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I don’t have any specific apps, books, podcasts, or blogs that I go to. I do a lot of research online, and watch plenty of videos online from a variety of sources to continuously learn about new products, and techniques.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Sleeping Beauty Productions
Lush Photography
Alana Enfinity

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