‘I just love food’: South Tahoe woman expands chef business

Laney Griffo

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — In 2015, South Lake Tahoe resident, Arica Davis, decided to leave her sales career to pursue her passion of cooking for other people. That’s when her company, Yummy Fixins, was born.

For years, Davis didn’t have access to a commercial kitchen, so she offered at-home chef services but a recent move into a commercial kitchen has given her the opportunity to expand her offerings to catering and charcuterie, allowing her to do more of what she loves.

“I always loved food but I never wanted to work in a restaurant, so I got interested in the world of personal cheffing,” Davis said.

Davis loves the artistic aspect of charcuterie.
Laney Griffo/Tahoe Daily Tribune

Davis would go to people’s homes and cook for events such as corporate gatherings, family reunions, bachelor or bachelorette parties, etc.

In March 2022, Davis heard that the kitchen in the Black Bear Lodge was available for rent. The Black Bear Lodge doesn’t offer food services to its guests so Davis uses the kitchen for her company. The move into the kitchen allowed her to get a catering license and start doing charcuterie, or as Davis calls them, grazing boards.

“I wanted to add this piece into the business because I love charcuterie and nobody around here was really doing it,” Davis said.

Charcuterie comes from the French cooking tradition and was originally a method of curing and preserving meat. Charcuterie boards are filled with not just meats but cheeses, fruits and nuts.

For Davis, charcuterie allows her to fulfill her love of feeding people and exercise her artistic side.

Davis offers many different sizes of grazing boards.
Laney Griffo/Tahoe Daily Tribune

Watching her arrange a board is truly like watching a piece of art be made. She’s not only thinking about flavors but she’s considering how space is filled on a board, how colors work together, she buys fresh flowers to decorate the board with which brings an extra pop of color. It’s much more than just throwing meat and cheese on a plate.

“You eat with your eyes,” Davis said.

She offers everything from holiday boxes, individual boxes, all the way up to extra large platters.

Even though she’s expanded her offerings, she said at-home chef services are still her bread and butter.

Now, with access to her kitchen, she’s able to prep food in advance but she’s adamant that she never heats food in advance, so that the meal is as fresh and hot as possible at that time of the meal.

Almost all of her clients are visiting from out of the area so this service allows them to have a fresh cooked meal in a private setting. They don’t have to worry about getting food to feed a lot of people or finding a reservation that can fit something like a 20 person family reunion.

The benefit for Davis of doing the at-home chef services is the interaction with people. If she worked in a restaurant she’d be in the kitchen all day and not able to talk to the customers but when she’s at someone’s home, people come and go from the kitchen all day and she’s able to chat with them.

Davis also said she loves the moment when she serves the meal and a rowdy room falls totally silent as they enjoy the food.

“I just love food. I love feeding people. I like eating. I like the visual presentation. I like everything about it,” Davis said.

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