Gabrielle McBay is a private chef for professional athletes who offers special events and corporate catering through her business, the Ellements Company. She grew up in Dallas, Texas with her twin sister Racquel and remembers falling in love with food at a young age. “I used to cook with my great aunt and grandmothers and mother in the kitchen ALL THE TIME,” she says. “[Eventually] I got tired of being babied so I started making my own baked products from scratch. Gabrielle went on to attend Desoto High School, where she started her first company [at the time a baking company, Crumbs by Elle]. Her and her twin both received scholarships to Texas Christian University [TCU] where Gabrielle decided to study Food Management. Through college, she studied food science, nutrition, and worked in a kitchen as an Assistant Pastry Chef. After graduating, she transitioned into being an Executive Pastry Chef and helped open a restaurant in Dallas before launching Ellements.
BGWP: What does it mean to you to be a black girl with purpose?
Gabrielle McBay: Being a black girl with purpose means KNOWING what I’m called to do here on Earth and EXECUTING that with grace, confidence, and a little sparkle for some #blackgirlmagic.
BGWP: When did you feel like you realized your purpose or first got a glimpse of what your purpose is?
GM: I feel like I have these AHAHA moments frequently…but I distinctly remember having the largest cookie order I received [at the time] when I was in high school. Me, my mom, and my sister, stayed up all night-literally-packaging and bagging these custom made cookies. They were both talking about how tired they were-and questioned how I was still moving.Yes-I was tired. I even cried out of “deliriousness.” But IT was then I realized-I’d do this any day at any time. Because I LOVE IT. We finished packaging, went on about the day, and I completed my first corporate order for TV One and Chef G Garvin.
BGWP: How would you define your purpose?
GM: I define purpose simply as “the reason why you move.”
BGWP: What is the hardest part about walking in your purpose?
GM: I think the hardest part in walking in purpose is sometimes being distracted. That could be by people, by environments and spaces, by thoughts. We all get distracted at some point or another in life. But we have to keep MOVING and walking in what you know you are called to do.
BGWP: What would you say to someone who doesn’t know where to start to find their purpose?
GM: I would say to that person to reflect. If they are spiritual, pray and ask for direction and discernment into their purpose. Figure out what “stirs your grits.” [I love grits]. What gets you up? What do you think about before falling asleep and waking up in the morning?(other than normal routine and tasks) What pulls on your heart strings? That’s your purpose.
BGWP: What’s your go to scripture when you find yourself lacking direction?
GM: So I KNOW that everyone uses these two scriptures. BUT THEY ARE EVERYTHING. Hands down Proverbs 3:5 and Jeremiah 29:11.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding [I can be the queen of that]; but in all your ways, acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” -Proverbs 3:5
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
BGWP: This month’s theme is all about time management – what are some tools you find helpful when it comes to managing your time effectively? Especially as an entrepreneur?
GM: Ummm…I’m still trying to master this [laughs]. I struggle with juggling tasks and trying to be superwoman. Recently, I’ve been prioritizing and organizing my tasks based on immediacy. Everything doesn’t have to get done TODAY. But make sure that the things that do-GET DONE.
BGWP: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our audience?
GM: I’m in the process of writing my first cookbook soooo stay tuned =)
Be sure to follow “Chef Elle” on Instagram (@gabriellemcbay) to keep up with recipes [gabriellemcbay.com] and her cookbook announcement. You can also stay connected with her by liking and subscribing to her YouTube channel. [https://www.youtube.com/c/gabriellemcbay].
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Lastly, if you know a young black woman who is living out her purpose and would be a great feature for the BGWP blog. Please comment below with their information!