Cooking since the Beginning of her Life

Sophomore Naeji Washington’s family uses the kitchen more than any other room in her house, here’s why

Naeji Washington cooking on the stove at her home.

We’ve all used the kitchen before, for multiple different reasons. To steal some snacks or to pack our lunches. Naeji Washington’s ‘22 family, on the other hand, uses the kitchen more than they use the living room or than us using our kitchens to be food thieves. 


Washington has been very interested in going into the culinary arts. “My dad’s a chef, so I kind of got introduced to it and I think it’s such an interesting and fun career to have.” said Washington ‘22. “My husband and I grew up in homes where family cooking was the center of our day,” said Tyeisha Washington, Washington’s mother, “So I would say that we learned cooking from our families, and we brought it into our own daily lives now.” “The first food, Naeji attempted to cook was homemade blueberry cinnamon waffles from scratch,” said Tyeisha.

“The precious time we get to spend together and of course the amazing meals, is what I love about our family.” ”

— Tyeisha Washington

Washington hopes to travel to the Caribbean and intends to get an apprenticeship for cooking after high school. Her family does a lot of cooking, it’s one of their family time activities that they do. “One of our favorite foods we like to make is any kind of pasta,” Washington said, “We do this one dish is where we get pasta shells and make it from scratch, then I make the filling, which is like 6 different types of cheese, then we stuff it in the pasta, and then you pour sauce all over it.”


Washington also likes other types of international food such as Mexican food, “I just love Mexican food, my best friend, she’s Mexican, and her family makes the best meals and snacks, everything is just so authentic.” Washington said, “And that’s something I love about their family, and that they never have the same thing twice a month.” The Mexican food that most of us know is tacos and burritos, but Washington explained to us her favorite Mexican food, that took us a while to spell. “I would have to say my favorite Mexican food would have to be either enchiladas or enfrijoladas, and enfrijoladas are like enchiladas, but it’s different beans.” Washington explained “So the beans are pureed, and they dip it in there and they put lettuce and meat, and a sour cream sauce, which reminds me of the texture of yogurt, it’s like sour cream and milk.”


Like any other cook or foodie, we have to watch Food Network’s cooking shows. Washington’s favorite shows to watch are Chopped, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Cutthroat Kitchen “I do like to watch Cake Wars and Cupcake Wars, but I personally don’t like baking.” said Washington, “Though my favorite dessert to eat would have to be apple pie.” 


And of course, everyone does have a food that they cannot eat. Whether its beets or sardines, for Washington it’s eggs. “Eggs, I cannot eat, it’s more of the texture rather than the flavor. Like I can eat them Sunny Side Up, or boiled, sometimes I can eat them deviled, but again it’s the texture that really gets to me.” 


Finally, in the future, Washington hopes to be able to cook a brisket, which is one of the foods her dad has cooked perfectly, and she still attempts to cook it, and yet she keeps on making small mistakes. “Even though my dad is known for making some errors and mistakes here and there, I feel as though that’s how he’s grown so much as a cook,” said Washington. Hopefully, Washington will be able to be a great chef in the future.

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