New Jersey-native Angeline Pierre is a chef, entrepreneur, and model. She is also a warrior who battles everyday with the conditions of Sickle Cell Anemia. However, this strong woman, who moved to RI in 2013, stays positive through it all.
By Jess Evora || Feature Photo: @joephotojoy
In 2017, Angeline Pierre’s roommate told her about an open casting call for Rhode Island Fashion Week.
“My roommate said she wouldn’t be in town, but that I should audition,” Angeline said. “I had never modeled before. But I thought, why not?”
“My roommate gave me a quick lesson on how to walk, and I just went for it,” Angeline said. “I scored two designers from that first audition, and that was it from there.”
Within a matter of months, Angeline was signed with Donahue Models and Talent, an agency in Rhode Island.
“It’s been great,” Angeline said. “I push myself out of so many comfort zones, which I really love doing. I love being in a new space that makes me slightly uncomfortable.”
Leaning Towards Entrepreneurship
Angeline’s willingness to step outside of her comfort zone has been a large factor in her progress towards her goals thus far.
Angeline earned her Bachelor’s degree in Food Services Entrepreneurship at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in 2018, and she is currently working on her Master’s degree in Hospitality at JWU with anticipated completion in 2020.
Angeline works hard in her academic pursuits so that she may continue to combine her two loves: food & business.
“For the longest time I always knew that I would build my own business,” Angeline said.
“I initially went into hospitality to build a chain of hotels and restaurants that cater to the middle class family to make it more accessible,” Angeline said. “However, my goals have since changed a bit. My goals and ideas continue to evolve.”
“My goal is to change people’s outlook on food and their relationship,” Angeline said. “There are a lot of young professionals who are not eating right, finishing their day super tired and wondering why. I want to be able to help people with their day-to-day.”
Learn more about Metamorphic Chef here.
As a proud Haitian woman, Angeline credits her interest in culinary arts to her Caribbean heritage, and to her dear mother.
“I grew up watching my mother work two jobs for most of my life. I have my mother’s work ethic,” Angeline said. “And one of my core drivings factors is my goal to go back to Haiti one day to do work in the community.”
Angeline also credits her mother for teaching her how to cook.
“I grew up knowing what spice and flavor is,” Angeline said. “I grew up watching my mother work so hard to provide for us, and yet she still found time to put so much love into the food she made.”
“When people ask me how I learned to cook, I tell them my mother taught me,” Angeline said. “Yes, I went to culinary school, but school just taught me formal technique and helped me refine what I already learned from my mother.”
Angeline’s mother has been a great inspiration for her cooking, but when it comes to the business side of things, that inspiration comes from within.
“I usually look at my own life and then go, well what’s wrong with my life,” Angeline said. “And if I can find a gap there, then I know I’m not alone. There is probably a broad need for it.”
We cannot speak of inspiration without speaking of Angeline. She manages to juggle so many responsibilities – a student, a chef, an entrepreneur, a model – all while battling the conditions of Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia is an inherited form of anemia — a condition in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body. In Individuals with Sickle Cell Anemia, the red blood cells become rigid and sticky and are shaped like sickles or crescent moons. Angeline was brave enough to share with us her battle with the condition.
“The thing is, I recently realized that if I want to be authentic, my story can’t be told without referencing that I am a Sickle Cell Warrior,” Angeline said. “Sickle Cell was part of me before RI, before college, before modeling and before becoming a chef. It is the undertone in my life that is constant.”
Staying Strong Through it All
Angeline is currently in need of a bone marrow transplant, but finding a donor is particularly difficult for African American patients.
“African Americans don’t think about populating registries,” Angeline said. “We have so many other things to think about it, so it’s understandable that it’s not a priority.”
Almost 10% of African Americans have Sickle Cell Anemia according to the American Society of Hematology.
“During my recent hospitalization [in April 2019], me and a fellow Sickle Cell Warrior started plotting to launch Sickle Sistahs on June 19th, World Sickle Cell Day,” Angeline said. “It’s a platform where we use personal stories to advocate.”
Angeline was hospitalized for several weeks here in Rhode Island, and was definitely a warrior through it all. After being released from the hospital in late April, she is in good spirits. She is working on self care, as well as making plans to eventually get back into the many passions she pursues in her life.
Angeline is a true definition of resilience. Her strength is an inspiration for us all, and her positive attitude reminds us that we must find light even in the darkest days.
Thank you Angeline for living your truth and reminding us that we can do anything & EVERYTHING we want to do in life.
As the great Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible…until it’s done.”
Connect with Angeline
Sickle Cell Anemia
The Haitian Community in Rhode Island
- The 10 Best Haitian Restaurants in Rhode Island
- The Haitian Project: A Blueprint for Solving Big Problems
- A Decade of Helping Haiti from a Newport Home
US & OUR CULTURE
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“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb