We had the good fortune of connecting with Zakiya Courtney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Zakiya, why did you pursue a creative career?
I consider being a Chef a creative career. I entered into this area after retiring as an education administrator. This second career was the result of demand not necessarily desire. I love to cook. I always prepared food for a large family. And family, community and friends constantly requested my dishes. My creativity was evident in traditional dishes I transformed into delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine,

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I don’t fit in a box. After dropping out of high school at 16, getting married at 17, having 2 children and divorcing at 22 I received my undergraduate degree at 40. Ultimately Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Doctorate in Education, Leadership and Service. My goal for retirement was to become a professional volunteer. My retirement has been of service to my family and community.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Alice’s Garden Tricklebee Cafe

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
GOD Ausar Auset Society (pan-African religious organization)
Venice Williams-Executive Director Alice’s Garden
Christie Melby-Gibbons- Director Tricklebee Cafe

Instagram: chefmamazakiya

Facebook: @vegansoulmilwaukee

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.