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Rising Stars: Meet Christina Stawiasz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Stawiasz.  

Christina, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have always been a creative person. I excelled in art classes in school from kindergarten to graduating high school. Besides doing all forms of artwork from sculpture, and painting to drawing, I have always loved cooking! When I was a kid it started with baking my own cakes and decorating them. I’d help Grandma every Thanksgiving preparing that big turkey dinner. Then I started cooking more meals and I would get so excited to cook for my family. 

When it came time to decide which career path was suitable for me, I knew it had to be something creative! I was a very studious kid, always striving for the best grades and never missing school. College was always my plan but unfortunately, there were a lot of ups and downs right after high school. A few years went by and Cosmetology school seemed like the right fit at the time. A trade school that only took a year or so to complete and I was able to stay creative! After my training, I worked in salons, taught classes, and even opened my own studio suite! Doing hair allowed me to have some creative freedom and in my downtimes, I’d cook when I could. Getting creative as possible trying to recreate a dish I absolutely loved, putting a new spin on something classic, or creating something entirely new! I absolutely loved hosting family dinners and dinners with friends. 

There were times I’d feel jealous of friends and family who took cooking classes or went through culinary training. I was obsessed with cooking shows and binged Chopped and Master Chef on days off from the salon. 

Well then, the Covid Pandemic hit! The moment everyone’s lives changed. I was overcome by so much anxiety. When the shutdowns happened, our salons were closed for about three months. During this time, I did everything to keep busy. I focused my energy on cooking and getting out into the forest with my husband in our RV for some nature therapy and camping! I challenged myself to cook everything and anything over an open fire and on a grill. 

Having more flexibility, we started to travel more. Exploring farmer’s markets in different areas while traveling in our RV had opened me up to all new kinds of foods. I’m never afraid to try anything new and I made so many new discoveries. Well because of this change and slower pace of life due to the pandemic, something happened, my cooking skills excelled! I gave it my all, I gave it my heart. A new hobby and career started to blossom! 

I’m still in the beginning phases but in the last couple of years, I have been published in magazines and currently have a couple of brand ambassador roles, and have started a blog. My niche is “Exceptional Meals for the Great Outdoors”. My main focus is cooking everything outside on grills or over a campfire. I’m not talking about hot dogs on a stick, burgers, or campfire pie, I’m talking about delicious gourmet meals that you wouldn’t expect to be cooked outside! I create recipes and post them on my blog and I’m currently considering private catering for date nights. 

I have been having so much fun! It feels like a dream. I’ve learned that it’s so important to do what you love and give it you’re all. I’m currently balancing both creative careers and I have found the perfect combination! I am so excited to continue to pursue my cooking passion and see where this journey goes! 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I think that there will always be challenges. As a self-taught home chef, there’s so much to research and learn. The same goes for being a new blogger. However, I love learning and I love challenging myself! I set my mind on something and I try my hardest to accomplish it. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a creative being! My best self is when I am doing something creative. Whether it’s being a hairstylist or pursuing my passion for cooking. I love my current journey with culinary arts. It’s something that I am so excited to continue pursuing and looking forward to advancing into a full-time career. My niche is creating “Exceptional Meals for the Great Outdoors.” I love cooking gourmet meals using grills, BBQ, and over-open fires. I think this is what sets me apart from other cooks. I utilize and cook in the outdoors creating beautiful meals that wouldn’t appear possible being cooked outdoors. I part-time travel in my RV exploring the States and I find inspiration in different areas, farmers’ markets, and their local cuisine. It’s been amazing to try new things and experiment with different flavors, unique spices, meats, fresh seafood, and their local fruits and vegetables that you cannot find at home. 

So far, I’m most proud of putting myself out there. Discovering that you can pursue what you love and be rewarded in so many ways feel like an incredible accomplishment. It gives me hope and keeps me focused and determined. Five years ago, if you had asked me where I would see myself, this would have been a pipe dream! I never imagined that I’d be a magazine published author, cook, influencer, or blogger. I’m just so grateful! 

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
Passion and determination!! I feel like you should never give up on a dream. Life is too short not to enjoy it. I feel like it’s most important to follow your calling and do what you love and enjoy. That doesn’t mean it’s sunshine and roses every day, there will be bumps and disappointments in the road but those bumps are either opportunities to learn from or they steer you into a different direction that’s meant to be. The saying “if one door closes another one opens” well, it’s true. If it’s not a door it’ll be a window and you’ll find a way to get through it! There will always be a way with determination driven by your passion! You better yourself and humble yourself by getting through challenges and it keeps your path interesting and exciting! 

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Christina Stawiasz

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