Friend of Graza: Shanika Graham-White

Friend of Graza: Shanika Graham-White

The chef and baker behind Orchids + Sweet Tea on the tastiest recipes she's ever created (hint: gnocchi and soup are involved), why she's over the "cheese pull," and who she turns to for new inspiration.

Q: How do you describe yourself?

S: Hey, I’m Shanika—a food blogger, author, recipe developer and creator behind Orchids + Sweet Tea.

Q: Finish this sentence: Cooking for me is __________

J: Special and always a good vibe.

Q: What's your current favorite grocery store find or obsession?

J: Currently, I’m obsessed with Pure Elizabeth’s Cookie Granolas which make for the best cereal or topping on snacks.

Q: What’s your go-to crowd-pleaser meal?

J: Definitely my Jerk Chicken Wings or Tuscan ‘Marry Me’ Chicken.

Q: Who do you turn to, watch, or follow for food inspiration?

J: Whew, this is tough, but I definitely LOVE watching Jamaicans cook the most——from family members to random food creators on YouTube or Instagram. As for another Food Blogger, I love Taneisha from The Seasoned Skillet and Jamie from Dishing Out Health.

Q: What’s one piece of advice or a practice you see in the food world you think is overrated, overly aspirational, unhelpful, or is otherwise just not the vibe?

J: Honestly, I’m truly over the ultra “swoon” culture of food where everyone presses, squeezes, scoops unhealthy amounts of cheese from, and everything in between——leaving the life out of just regularly good looking food. Haha. Also, ASMR is a little overrated too!

Q: What are your all-around life mottos, mantras, philosophies? What guides you in the kitchen?

J: “Just have fun.” I walk into the kitchen, play my favorite music, and just have fun with it all.

Q: You're known for your mouth watering culinary creations—what has been your favorite recipe you've made to date?

J: I truly appreciate that! To be honest, my favorite recipe that I’ve made to date has to be my Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Q: What has been bringing you joy lately?

J: Lately, I’ve been gaining joy in being on social media less, getting back to truly creating content based on my WHY, and most importantly remaining grounded in my Faith.

Q: What's on the horizon for you!

J: So much! I’m in full focus with continuing to build my food blog, starting my YouTube channel with fresh new content, I plan on starting the process of possibly having a 2nd cookbook, delving more into the production side of content with my husband, and a few more exciting things that will get announced as they unfold!