Homecoming brunch hosted by Food Network Chopped champion

“A Taste of the Sensory Experience”                              homecoming brunch event                     Photo courtesy Oldens Lafortune

As Florida A&M University’s homecoming week wrapped up, people packed up their belongings Sunday and checked out their hotels. Some stayed in bed and caught up on sleep, and the rest, they went out to eat.

If you were looking for the kind of aesthetic that provided fine foods and a pleasing ambiance and you didn’t go to Chef Shacafrica Simmons’ “A Taste of the Sensory Experience” homecoming brunch event, you missed out.

The brunch was an experience that was quite different from any regular brunch outings. From the vivid lighting of the eatery, to the grass like walls, complimented by black leather seats, the event’s beauty was well captured.

Chef Shac, as she calls herself is a culinary architect and owner of Chef Shac LLC, powered by a plethora of parent companies, according to her website chefchac.com.

She’s been cooking for over 36 years. She’s been a cook for FAMU, governments, corporations, professionally trained athletes and the list continues.

The gourmet buffet styled event included foods like scrambled eggs, bacon, fried lobster tails, tater tots, sausages, fried fish, and grits with smothered chicken, complimented by deserts, fruits and a variation of bottomless mimosas.

The event offered many other food options as well, but everyone’s favorite was grits and smothered chicken combination. The taste of the two blended well together and the sauces from the smothered chicken offered a special feeling to taste buds.

This event this past Sunday was one of many fundraising sensory events as Chef Shac aims to open up her own restaurant in the near future.

“We’re trying to raise the funds and we’ve reached out to potential investors and for people to support,” Simmons said.

Aside from foods the aesthetic, there were many other activities that captured the food-goers attention. There was live Saxophonist who served the role of a DJ and a live painter who created multiple art pieces to give away.

Her team in the making of this included many people like Bianca Belabre, who is the Director of Marketing. Belabre’s sole task in the making of this event was to organize tools to bring out awareness of the event.

Things like creating a graphic for the event and releasing them to social media were a part of her daily tasks.

She says that through all the hard work, she thinks the event went really well.

“All in all, I think the event was great and it’s an event that should become a staple in FAMU Homecoming,” Belabre said. “This year, we put it together, but I feel like we should have something like this every year.”

Something that made this event different from other brunch events going on in the city during the weekend of festivities was the origins of the food.

Chef Shacafrica Simmons                    Photo courtesy Oldens Lafortune


Chef Shac says she tried to be creative and while still keeping the traditional brunch culture of meals. She wanted to prepare a variety of foods that were true to the flavors that she likes, while adding a little of the Caribbean culture to it.

“I want to put out, what’s local and what’s fresh, and what’s in season,” Simmons said.

The freshness of the bottomless mimosas was duly noted as she added mints and herbs to help with digestion all providing taste to the beverage.

I’d definitely recommend being in attendance at her next round of sensory experience events as she will continue to hold them. The cost is a bit pricey, but the ambiance was worth the cost.

To find out about the next events, check out her website at ww.chefshac.com or visit her Instagram or Facebook page @Chefshac.