What may have seemed like an overnight success, Chef Pii had been cooking up for years. The Celebrity Chef and Mixologist nearly broke the internet with the Pink Sauce, intriguing the world by smothering nearly every cuisine you can think of with her bright and creamy sauce. Being paired with chicken wings, pizza, tacos, and more, the mystery of the Pink Sauce is still unfolding and Chef Pii, a.k.a The Flavor Genie, gives Sheen a little taste into her brand.
Having served as a private chef for notable names in entertainment, Chef Pii is no stranger to the culinary arts. Her dishes and personality are full of flavor, and the Miami native is looking forward to taking her repertoire and personal brand to greater heights this year.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Chef Pii, where we discussed her career, the story behind the sensational Pink Sauce, navigating the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, and more. Keep reading for the highlights from our exclusive chat!
Talk us through your journey to becoming a chef!
I started finding my passion for cooking when I was around eight years old. I was raised by my grandmother and my great-grandmother, which were the ones in the family to lead on the holidays, and everybody came to our house. So, that made me pick up my passion. I was a nursing major and worked at a middle school when I began my chef career. I would always make these elaborate dinners for my friends on the holidays, or I would find a reason to have family come over to my house and cook for them. I would spend all of this money creating meals, I would buy decorations and flowers, and I would always be on time. So my friends were like, ‘Why don’t you charge people to do this? You do it so well and the food is so good.’ And I basically just blew up through word of mouth. During the pandemic, in-home dining was very common because people didn’t want to leave their homes to celebrate occasions for their safety. So, if someone or a celebrity was coming to Miami for a vacation, they would book Chef Pii. People just knew me for my food and loved my food.
As a celebrity chef, what has been your favorite memory so far?
I would say cooking for Rick Ross. He’s one of my favorite artists, and it was a really dope experience. We got to have some boss conversations. In every interaction I have with each client, whether they’re a celebrity or not, I always walk into the room and speak to everybody. I’m really down to earth.
Let’s talk about your Pink Sauce… How did the idea for the Pink Sauce come about, and what was the initial reaction from the world?
I opened a restaurant in 2021, and you know like when you go somewhere to eat, you go there for a certain thing, right? I already knew my food was good, however, I wanted a sauce. And the sauces in the restaurant defined me. I had a sauce called ‘Hustle Butter,’ a sauce called ‘Crazy Sauce,’ and a sauce called ‘The Pink Sauce.’ People locally knew about [Pink Sauce], but it didn’t blow up right then.
Thinking of the creation of the Pink Sauce, I had a relationship with red dragon fruit, due to my suffering from chronic anxiety. When I suffered from chronic anxiety, the dragon fruit along with other things helped restore nutritional balance in my body. So, when I was thinking of the Pink Sauce, I already knew how bold the color was in the dragonfruit. When I posted it on TikTok, people first were like ‘What is she eating? Pepto Bismol?’ Then, I posted another video and I was like ‘Don’t worry, it’s natural.’ And people were asking about what was in the Pink Sauce, and I didn’t respond. Then, I began to be bullied.
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Were you intentional about the “private not secret” approach to launching the Pink Sauce, and why do you think it went viral?
Usually, when an influencer is trying to sell something that they made, like their own recipe, they share the recipe. So, that’s what people are used to. I feel like, I didn’t wanna share my recipe because it’s unique. Before the Pink Sauce was sold anywhere, before the world tasted the Pink Sauce, before I ever shipped anything out, people were saying things like ‘What’s in it,’ ‘What does it taste like,’ or ‘I’m allergic.’ That was a thing before I even started selling it. Call me Madonna, call me Beyonce, call me Nicki. I just feel like people expected me to have 100% perfection because I’m saying that I created something so amazing. It was so different, so it became a crazy controversy. People didn’t know what they were talking about, but I just let it be. Every business goes through growth spurts and lessons.
Is there a significance to its pink color?
It’s the energy. I feel like my energy is pink. If you ever meet me in person, my energy is like magenta. Also, Miami has fast cars, beautiful women, neon lights, and the pink sauce is a representation of me and where I come from. The Pink Sauce is my culture and all of the cultures that I love in one.
In your opinion, what makes this sauce taste so good?
It’s tangy, it’s a little spicy, and it literally takes your palette on a journey. When you first taste it, it’ll taste sweet, then it has a little pinch on the tongue so it’s a little tangy, and then it’s spicy. It’s a unique sauce, meaning it can’t be compared. I feel like I’ve created a new lane in sauce. It’s a bright color, and it just tastes like Pink Sauce. Ketchup is ketchup, mayo is mayo, and barbeque sauce is barbeque sauce. Now we have the Pink Sauce! The future of Pink Sauce is bright.
The Pink Sauce is now sold in Walmart, congratulations! So much has happened so fast for you! Do you feel like you’ve made it, or is there still more to do?
I have so much more to do. This is only the beginning, [especially] when it comes to my writing, building courses to help people out, mentoring the youth, and helping people with their mental health journey. I definitely want more products. I have things in the works, but I’m taking my time, doing my research, educating myself, and just doing my due diligence. I’m not stumbling on stage this time.
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It takes a lot to push through negativity, and you’ve definitely stood behind your product through it all…How do you overcome negative feedback?
We endure issues on a daily basis. And one of my mentors would say to me: ‘No problems, only solutions.’ If there’s an issue, what are you going to do to fix it? There are always going to be problems and mistakes. Think of the solutions and focus on the positive. When I’m in a situation, I treat my mistakes as lessons. Once you overcome something, you’ve learned to do better. If you go down that road again, then it’s a decision. I feel like every day is a new learning opportunity.
You’re pretty candid about your successes, lessons, and customer feedback on social media. Why is that important to you?
Sooner or later I’ll get to tell my story, but I feel like this is only the beginning. God put me in the position to be able to inspire young girls and the youth. To have gone through anxiety, unstable mental health, and being a teen runaway and teen mom, there’s so much that I can do to really help and educate the youth because I can relate to them. And even though the world judges me, I don’t judge the world because I was in that place before. Everyone has been at a low point in their life. Everyone has been in a place in their life where they weren’t proud of themselves at that moment, and I feel like I just put myself on the front line because I don’t want other people to be afraid.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs for succeeding in this new year?
Set intentions and let God do the rest. Going into the year 2022 I had intentions. I manifested this. Literally, I was going to the store imagining my product on the shelf. However, it was [with] my seasoning. My seasoning is very rare because the blend of flavor is different with a multicultural flavor blend in one. So, I was more so imagining that in stores, not the Pink Sauce. When I say ‘let God do the rest,’ you can set intentions and know where you want to be, but God makes the ultimate decision as to where he wants you to go, and what he wants you to be.
Valentine’s Day is coming up…do you have any specials or projects in the works?
I’m dropping a guide! I usually charge $1,500 to do an elaborate dinner. However, I’m making a guide for the guys and the ladies, and also showing a little bit of my sensuality as well. I’m manifesting love into my life this year! Last year, my focus was the business…this year I’m ready for love!
What’s next for you?
I’ll be building a course! Because with all of the assumptions, I am actually a content creator. For years, I’ve had a YouTube channel and YouTube was one of the reasons why I quit my job. There’s a lot of planning that goes behind certain posts that people don’t realize because all they see is the outside. But, I definitely will be educating people on my [content] strategy. It will be out within the first quarter of this year!
Keep up with Chef Pii at @chef.pii on Instagram. And be sure to follow The Pink Sauce on Instagram and TikTok @theofficialpinksauce. To shop The Pink Sauce, visit thepinksauce.com!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.