Hi! I’m Christilisa. I’m an Alabama girl who went to high school in Ohio and ended up in New Orleans for college(Loyola University New Orleans-Go Wolfpack!) and decided to never leave.
Let’s get into it:
My first job was at Cici’s Pizza in Massillon, Ohio. I started off as a busser and moved my way to prepper. I made the dough, brownies, cinnamon rolls, and stocked the walk in with whatever else was needed.
Once I made my way to New Orleans, I did what most college students do when they are here, work at a bar. I chose Bourbon Street of course because I had to be where the action was. I found a job at a daiquiri shop, where I made…you guessed it, pizza (and calzones)!
After a few years of working the nightlife, I moved into the world of tourism. I worked for a tour and steamboat company in the French Quarter. The Steamboat is also a cruising restaurant, so I found myself once again working in proximity to food. This is where I learned about selling, storytelling and crafting stories. I worked here during and after college.
Before jumping back into the business world, I decided to try my hand at writing. I found an online publication, NolaDefender (now defunct), and started my journey as an unpaid journalist. This is when I realized I could do this writing thing (though it has taken 10 years and a pandemic for me to make it my career). I learned how to interview people, research, and write some compelling stories about music, food, and the culture of New Orleans.
When I left the Steamboat, I found a job that changed everything about my life and where I was going. I gained the most knowledge and insight while working at an interactive dining restaurant. I started as the sales assistant so I learned about every aspect of the business. (Running and owning a restaurant is for the birds.) I wrote and edited recipes, was the occasional sous chef for Iron Chef style competitions, and sold cooking classes and special events. I learned while here, the right story will bring the right people and situations to your life.
All of those jobs and skills learned has lead me to this moment, writing culinary mystery books and sharing recipes to help y’all tell and share more stories.