By Donald Jay Howton
Harondra Mitchell of Fairfield learned to cook at the young age of 11. Originally from Pratt City, she moved to Fairfield in 2015. A warm and friendly person, Harondra is a certified chef and will graduate in November with an Associates Degree in Pastry and Baking from Auguste Escoffier in Colorado. A gregarious personality, she calls everybody, “honey, love and sweetie.” Eventually Harondra plans on owning her very own food truck.
Tell me your favorite meal? Harondra: My late Aunt Ora Ruffins always made a Frito pie and began making it for me when I was 11-years-old. She shared the recipe with me and showed me how to make it. Frito pie is a delicious vegetable and meat-layered dish which I enjoy with fried corn and broccoli and for dessert strawberry short cake.
What is The Salad Chika? Harondra: The Salad Chika is an up and coming private chef enterprise in the Western section of Jefferson County. As a professional private chef, I am also equipped to cater events. I can provide a meal for two or 200. What makes The Salad Chika so unique is that my food is made with a lot of love.
What are your specialties? Harondra: We specialize in an assortment of salads including Chicken Breast Pasta Salad, Shrimp Pasta Salad, Vegetarian Delight and Chicken Chef Salad. We also offer homemade birthday cakes with homemade buttercream icing, banana pudding, strawberry shortcake, peanut butter pie and strawberry pie.
What does the future hold for The Salad Chika? Harondra: To one day own a food truck and work not only in Jefferson County, but also throughout the state.
Tell me about your family? Harondra: I was born in May of 1976 at Pratt City the baby of three siblings of Estelle Marie Ruffins Jackson and the late Pelvin Jackson. I am married to Gregory Mitchell and we will celebrate our first wedding anniversary on December 14 on a cruise to Mexico. I have one son Keleb Smith, 13 and a stepdaughter Galeicia Mitchell, 18.
Who is your favorite type of music? Harondra: Well, I am old school and I love old soul music, especially songs by The Temptations, The O’Jays, Tina Turner and Marvin Sease.
How do you spend your weekends? Harondra: When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am also a volunteer with the Fairfield Preparatory High School band. And of course, I cook all the time for my family.