Before Angela Davis became the Internet cooking sensation known as “The Kitchenista” with a massively popular blog (The Kitchenista Diaries) and influential social media presence, she was an Army brat, moving around frequently while spending most of her upbringing in Virginia.
In 2009, while working as an accountant for a construction company, Davis moved to Florida and discovered the bounty of fresh foods and tropical fruits sold at local farmer’s markets.
“It was a very exploratory period,” she recalls. “I started my blog as a passion project that came out of all that exploration.”
In 2013, Davis lost her job while pregnant with her daughter, prompting her to move back in with her parents in Virginia. That’s also when she began to take the blog a little more seriously, embarking on a monetization strategy for the first time. She began catering events here and there and then selling PDFs of recipes and, eventually, digital cookbooks.
“I saw a path for creating income at home and a different path for me where I could prioritize my children and my mental health,” she says. “I saw a new way of living.”
While living in Virginia, Davis’ career took off. The catered dinner parties turned into a private cheffing gig for a client in Washington, D.C., and the digital cookbooks kept coming. In 2016 she published a holiday cookbook and then an appetizer cookbook and that’s when things really escalated. By 2017, she was hosting public ticketed events in and around D.C.
Then came her next opportunity: A client hired her to consult on a restaurant concept in Detroit, prompting a move to the Motor City. The pandemic delayed the project and Davis pulled out, but in the meantime made Detroit her permanent home base for the long haul.
She retired the blog last year, devoting just shy of a decade to it, and now focuses almost exclusively on video-based food content. That includes popular Instagram and TikTok accounts, as well as some upcoming opportunities in the world of TV.
For Davis, the journey has been organic and self-taught. The Kitchenista’s wide reach comes from being her authentic self and not following any templates.
“I think my success was just from following my own path and not trying to go viral or be like everyone else with social media,” she says. “My journey was really about discovering who I am in the kitchen. It was healing. Time in the kitchen was time for me to heal from mental health and trauma. That’s what really brought me there in the first place.”
To stay updated on all things Kitchenista, follow Angela Davis on Instagram @thekitchenista and TikTok @thekitchenista.