Recording artist Kelis paid a visit to Bed-Stuys Restoration Plaza Wednesday night for a signing of her new cookbook, My Life on a Plate.

Before the book signing, she chatted with the audience members about some of the challenges she had experienced as a singer and what led her to pursue a life in the culinary arts, where she is now an author, television personality and the owner of her own line of cooking sauces, Bounty & Full .

Kelis was at Restoration Plaza for a signing of her new book, "My Life on a Plate"
Kelis was at Restoration Plaza for a signing of her new book, “My Life on a Plate”

She answered that at one point during the middle of her singing career, she had developed polyps on her vocal cords: It took so long for me to heal and get back to a place where I could own my voice again, she said. I never thought I would lose it until I lost it. And that was a real wakeup call for me.

She said, losing access to what had become her financial and creative everything was a blessing in disguise, because it spurred introspection and eventually led her to pursue other areas of interest, including cooking and traveling:


More is more for me! And even though Im traveling all around, I travel because I want to do this, and now I try to suck up every possible thing that I can when I can, said Kelis. Im like Go! I love my life, Im really blessed. I dont take for granted that this is a blessing, so I live my life. I do this!

One audience member asked Kelis about her favorite celebrity chef:

Whether its music or food, I kind of isolate myself from [celebrities], she answered. Its just that, I have a hard time distinguishing my own influences, so I try to stay in my own lane.


And a lot of the chefs that people are so obsessed with, I dont discredit them, at all But I dont want foam and crudit for my meal. She motions as though shes looking at a tiny plate of food. I love the art of it but I come from a different place, and Im really hungry.


Im like, thats beautiful, but ummm Lets go eat something else! So, theres that!

Keliss mother, Eve, and her son, Knight, joined her at the book signing as audience members.

Shes always been a good cook, said her mother. But she puts her own twist on old family recipes in that shes a little more fusion, and Im a little more traditional.

Shes a new and improved version of me, said Eve, smiling widely. And she can cook for me any day!

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  1. I so appreciate that the tone of this article focused on Kelis’ joy and how she moved through her vocal loss by tapping into her other love of cooking. Instead of the typical approach where artists are criticized for not keeping up with whatever the trend is. I don’t keep up with her music, but this article made her more relatable and I’ll support this book. Thanks Brooklyn Reader keep it up!

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