SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) -Turaeza Lopez-Hose has found a way to create art using food.
“You just have a blank canvas but you see that picture in your head and you’re able to paint it," she said. “Well, a chef can do that with food. We can taste the items. We’re painting the taste in our mouth as we select things so it’s our own form of art.”
Her journey as a chef began right after high school in 1997 when she joined the Air Force.
”I was not too happy about becoming a chef," she said, “I actually cried when I found out at basic training that I was going to be a chef.”
Turaeza says she originally told her recruiter she was interested in working as a personal trainer — but after her time on the grill, she soon transitioned into a baker.
“When I got pulled back to become the baker, it was a lot of fun because back then we had to make everything from scratch," she said. “It wasn’t commercialized like it is now.”
Along with cooking and baking, Turaeza also worked in the hospitality sector while leading and training other airmen during her 20 years in the Air Force.
“We’re sitting down with our airmen from baby airmen all the way up," she said. “My job was to sit with you and build you to where I needed you to be.”
Once the Senior Master Sergeant retired in 2017 she decided to tackle a whole new role — business owner.
”I brought in a cupcake one day because I’d been experimenting for a while and I talked with a friend at the gym and they were like you should do this as a business," she said. “The next day I rolled out Prep Cakes. I went and got business cards and I’ve launched into it ever since.”
Three years later, she’s still in the kitchen creating healthy sweet options for the Shreveport-Bossier City community.
”I hope to keep building my business and at some point get it where I can get it national...nationwide shipping, but honestly I’m just going slow," she said. "I’m going on God’s time.”
As she continues to expand her business, Turaeza’s still has plenty more ideas, treats and cakes she’s whipping up in her kitchen.