Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Chef Tonya Morris started her venture in the restaurant industry at the age of sixteen working for a variety of fast food concepts. Although her intrigue with the “Art of Cooking” actually begins at a very early age at her Grandmother’s side watching her prepare traditional dishes from scratch, she would soon develop her own love and experiences for cooking. Chef Tonya attended Florida A&M University with a full Music scholarship, but later decided to take on different art form. Although majoring in Mathematics Education, she experimented with her passion for cooking by preparing dishes and testing new recipes for her colleagues regularly. Accepting all the feedback, she thrived on the ideas and found her gift.
Upon her departure from the university; not exactly smitten with the idea of teaching mathematics, she decided to change her career and enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale Culinary Arts Program.
Graduating top of her class, she was recruited and highly recommended by her instructors to work as an apprentice to the Sous Chef at one of South Floridas world renowned five star restaurant Café Maxx. After Café Maxx she decided she wanted to experience a variety of local cuisines across the United States in cities well known for their foodie influences such as New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Miami. During her travels, Chef Tonya developed her palate and refined her culinary talents while working under and along side some of the best culinary talents in the U.S. . At age twenty-six she became, Executive Chef at the Four Points Sheraton in Ft. Lauderdale, from there, became the Sous Chef at Fifth Avenue Grill of Lighthouse Point, Florida..
Moving forward she became a corporate trainer for the Cheesecake Factory. Soon, she decided to test the owner side of her field. She continued to push forward and soon started her own catering company in 2000 First Impressions Catering in South Florida and then relocated to Atlanta, GA. Presently residing in Atlanta, she has tapped into her entrepreneurial expertise. Chef Tonya continued to hone her culinary skills by working for the Westin at Peachtree Plaza, Opening as Executive Chef for Sheraton of Sandy Spring, etc. None of which fulfilled her desire to own and operate her own restaurant concept(s). Chef Tonya eventually took a giant leap of faith and opened a health wise gourmet food delivery service in 2006 with Gourmet on the Go Atlanta that consisted of 3 meal and 2 snacks delivered directly to your doorstep fresh daily. From there developed a variety of restaurant concepts. My Potato Factory, which is set to franchise by 2017, a concept that is centered around the stuffed potato and Licks BBQ which is a simple mobile food concept which features smoked meats with a variety of homemade non-traditional sauces. If anyone would ask why she is in the restaurant business, she would tell you firmly...
"I'm not in the restaurant business; I'm in the business of creating jobs and opportunities while doing what I love." Chef Tonya