Recording artist Kelis paid a visit to Bed-Stuy’s Restoration Plaza Wednesday night for a signing of her new cookbook, “My Life on a Plate.”
Before the book signing, she chatted with the audience members about some of the challenges she had experienced as a singer and what led her to pursue a life in the culinary arts, where she is now an author, television personality and the owner of her own line of cooking sauces, Bounty & Full .
She answered that at one point during the middle of her singing career, she had developed polyps on her vocal cords: “It took so long for me to heal and get back to a place where I could own my voice again,” she said. “I never thought I would lose it until I lost it. And that was a real wakeup call for me.”
She said, losing access to what had become her financial and creative everything was a blessing in disguise, because it spurred introspection and eventually led her to pursue other areas of interest, including cooking and traveling:
“More is more for me! And even though I’m traveling all around, I travel because I want to do this, and now I try to suck up every possible thing that I can when I can,” said Kelis. “I’m like Go! I love my life, I’m really blessed. I don’t take for granted that this is a blessing, so I live my life. I do this!”
One audience member asked Kelis about her favorite celebrity chef:
“Whether it’s music or food, I kind of isolate myself from [celebrities],” she answered. “It’s just that, I have a hard time distinguishing my own influences, so I try to stay in my own lane.
“And a lot of the chefs that people are so obsessed with, I don’t discredit them, at all… But… I don’t want foam and crudité for my meal.” She motions as though she’s looking at a tiny plate of food. “I love the art of it but I come from a different place, and I’m… really hungry.”
“I’m like, that’s beautiful, but ummm… Let’s go eat something else! So, there’s that!”
Kelis’s mother, Eve, and her son, Knight, joined her at the book signing as audience members.
“She’s always been a good cook,” said her mother. “But she puts her own twist on old family recipes in that she’s a little more fusion, and I’m a little more traditional.
“She’s a new and improved version of me,” said Eve, smiling widely. “And she can cook for me any day!”