Ribbon Cutting: Sharky's Chicken and Fish
Ribbon Cutting for Sharky's Chicken and Fish.
A Brief Tale by Toby M. Tayeh Gourmet Chef and Restauranteur
"My journey of becoming a chef and restaurant owner began at the age of 11. My grandmother, Arlene was a southern cook who owned a soul food restaurant in Decatur, Alabama. She served catfish, grits, fried chicken, red beans & rice, collard greens, candied yams, and grape kool-aid, my favorite drink. I was her helper, my job was to clean tables, take orders, serve food and assist her in the kitchen with food preparation. I was happy to work by her side, as she was kind and loving, and brought unity to our family and the community with her food service. My goal was to follow in her footsteps and become the best cook ever. On our days off grandma would take me fishing along the banks of the Tennessee River, at Point Mallard where the fish were plentiful. We would return to our kitchen where she taught me how to clean, fillet, and season the fish using a blend of Cajun spices from West Africa, France, and the United States. You were able to smell grandma's food from a mile away. At age 16, and after five years of on-the-job training, I decided to "strike out" on my own. I packed my bags, apron, knife & secret recipes and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, in order to pursue my dream. Fortunately, my experience qualified me for a job as a fry cook at a popular fish and chicken establishment. Two years later, I was accepted into the California Culinary Academy where I was able to sharpen my skills and showcase what I learned down South. From there, I continued to work myself up, becoming a lead cook, supervisor, manager, partner, and restaurant owner. My philanthropy began 12 years ago when I volunteered to serve as the Secretary & Treasurer of a non-profit organization. The charity provides water, rice, and new athletic shoes to poor children in Mexico, Africa, and the USA. Moral of the Story "A dream does not become reality through magic; It takes sweat, determination, hard work, and faith." And, "good things come to those who are patient." Bon Appetite."