FROM HER PERSPECTIVE: Alicia Hill, owner of Alicia’s Kitchen in Minden Louisiana

In Alicia Hill, Community by Lola Magazine

You will find this Bible verse painted on the wall at Alicia’s Kitchen:

Kind words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
-Proverbs 16:24

It all started at an early age being raised in Minden. I was the only child of a single mother, Shelia Hill.
Growing up in the projects, I spent my days at mama’s house on Cherry Street, or my grandma’s
house on Fulton Street when Mama was working. I loved riding my scooter through the neighborhood
and playing dolls with my childhood friends. As I grew older I loved watching Mama and Big Mama
cooking in the kitchen. Being in the kitchen with Big Mama was just as good as learning to cook at
some fine culinary institute. She taught me how to make the most delicious chicken and dressing,
collard greens, hot water cornbread, lemon pie and everything thing else that will feed your body and
feed your soul at the same time. When I was old enough to get a job, I started working at various fast
food restaurants and continued working throughout my life. I’ll never forget starting my job at Bayou
Inn. They told me that I would need to catch on quick because they got busy. My days in Big Mama’s
kitchen taught me well, and I had no trouble keeping up.

In the good old days we would cook up so much food for just the two of us, and of course we cooked
up enough in case the whole neighborhood showed up. Many times, they did, and we always had
enough to go around. It has always been my dream to open a restaurant and keep the tradition of
feeding folks and feeding their souls alive like we did so many times growing up. God finally blessed
me with the opportunity to do just that when I opened Alicia’s Kitchen. I received a call one day with
an offer to open a restaurant that was unbelievable. Even though I had second thoughts, this is what I
had asked the Lord for and he had delivered. My friends, family and a very special person pushed me
to follow my dreams. I knew it was the right time and place for me to say yes. I started with nothing
but faith and the people who believed in me who showed up to help out of pure kindness.

Since opening Alicia’s Kitchen I am able to do something with my four daughters, and one day my
granddaughter will carry on these same traditions. I tell everyone that cooking is my passion and it
comes from my heart and soul. I do it with love and I cook as if Big Mama is still cooking right beside
me. Not long ago I was cooking out of my kitchen with my dear friend Ms. Pattie trying desperately to
make a living for my family. Today, I can say my dreams have come true as we welcome everyone to
Alicia’s Kitchen and feed them “food like Big Mama used to make.”