Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Women Who Went for It! is a bi-weekly podcast, hosted by Career Change Agent, Sara McArdle. The show features inspiring chats with successful industry changers who share how they found the clarity, courage and motivation to step into a deeper vocation and a life of meaning and fulfillment. We hope you'll see just how many before you have GONE for it—and they're eternally grateful that they took the risk!

Jul 22, 2018

Women Who Went for It Podcast Guest: Tanorria Askew of Tanorria's Table
In this episode, Sara talks with Tanorria Askew about her journey from being a 15-year credit union professional to becoming a personal chef. Thanks to insistence from her friends that she audition for "MasterChef" with Gordon Ramsay, Tanorria took 4th place on season 7 in 2016—an experience that changed her life. Upon returning from the show, she'd mentally moved on from the credit union and requests for dinner parties featuring her famous shrimp and grits began to pile up. That's when she finally owned her title as "personal chef" and fully stepped into her business, Tanorria's Table. Now, in addition to doing dinner parties, she cooks for paleo clients, makes freezer meals and seasonal goodies, and even creates and serves meals at homeless camps in her hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Sara and Tanorria discuss:
  • Tanorria's work history
  • Tanorria's interview on the Women's Work podcast
  • Studying elementary education at university (among other things)
  • Working at Teachers Credit Union during college, starting out as a summer job
  • Feeling like she was doing her "dream job"
  • Getting promoted, again and again
  • Staying with the credit union for 15 years
  • Realizing she didn't want to work there for the rest of her life
  • Growing up with a strong sense of community and hospitality
  • Friends telling her she should cook for a living
  • Her thoughts getting in the way
  • Her friends pushing her
  • Seeing she had no more room for growth at the credit union
  • Her dad gifting her money to get Tanorria's Table off the ground
  • Starting out as a part-time side hustle
  • Watching her friends successfully follow their unconventional passions and dreams
  • Her loved ones pushing her to audition for "MasterChef"
  • Feeling confident at the audition
  • Knowing deep inside her that this was going to change her life
  • Making it onto the show and flying to California
  • Cooking her grandmother's shrimp and grits
  • Gordon Ramsay saying it was the best shrimp and grits in the "MasterChef" Kitchen
  • Being "in it to win it"
  • The moment she realized she was put on this earth to feed people
  • Struggling to go back to work at the credit union after her life-changing experience
  • Knowing in her heart she was done there
  • Leaving her job right before her season of "MasterChef" premiered
  • Her dreams becoming a reality
  • The importance of surrounding yourself with the right people
  • Her original transition plan into working full time for Tanorria's Table
  • How reality compared to her vision
  • Finally owning the fact that she was a "personal chef"
  • The intensity of self-employment (but how much she loves it!)
  • Helping people create delicious memories
  • Cooking for paleo clients, creating freezer meals and making seasonal pies
  • Serving on the board for Dotted Line Divas
  • Leading the hospitality team at her church
  • Cooking for, serving and connecting with residents of homeless camps in Indianapolis through volunteering with Food 4 Souls
  • Leading "Unity Tables" to connect women across differences, including race
  • Sara's experience with "Dialogue Dinners" hosted by Kids4Peace Seattle
  • The reality of Tanorria's ongoing fears (e.g. self-employment, client satisfaction, fame)
  • Focusing on her faith, her tribe and her family
  • The importance of hope
  • People questioning Tanorria's decision to become a full-time, self-employed personal chef
  • Choosing to follow her own dreams and timing
  • Tanorria having a segment on the local, Indianapolis news ever other week
  • Working at Camp MasterChef
  • How doing her passion for work has impacted her experience of cooking
  • The one piece of advice she'd had given herself at the beginning of her career change journey
  • The difference between "catering" and being a personal chef
  • ...and more!
Tanorria's full bio:
Tanorria Askew of Tanorria’s Table is a passionate home cook turned chef. Her culinary credentials are simple. She comes from the “Culinary Institute of Her Parents & Grandparents." Tanorria spent 15 years at Teachers Credit Union before leaving to follow her culinary dreams. During that time, she worked her way through the ranks from Sales Representative, Member Service Representative, Assistant Manager and Training and Organizational Development Specialist. Tanorria was also the champion and practitioner for Teachers Credit Union’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. A 2016 contestant on "MasterChef" hosted by Gordon Ramsay, Tanorria walked away as the 4th best home cook in America. Auditioning with 21,000 other hopefuls, Tanorria won over producers, judges and America with her southern culinary roots and sassy personality. Gordon Ramsay donned her shrimp and grits as the best shrimp and grits he’s had in the "MasterChef" kitchen! Above all, Tanorria encourages everyone to love deeply, laugh often, and eat really well.