The Notting Hill in-person street festival might be cancelled this year, but here on TikTok that won't stop our community from coming together to sing, dance and celebrate virtually!
This year we've partnered with Notting Hill Carnival, to bring the spirit of Carnival to TikTok for everyone to enjoy.
That's why this week's TikTok Creator Spotlight is dedicated to a rising star of Caribbean cooking! Today we're profiling @chanellawallace, a master in the kitchen who shares her incredible Jamaican recipes with her 226.9K followers on TikTok.
For Chanell, #NottingHillCarnival is more than just a day of fun, it's a celebration of culture and community, which is exactly what her cooking is all about. Chanella draws on her Jamaican roots as inspiration for all of her recipes and her heritage and family history is central to her delicious dishes. She started cooking aged just seven, with the help of her grandma, learning Carribbean culinary classics. Over a decade on, she's released her first cookbook, sharing all of her most popular recipes on TikTok!
Chanell loves to experiment with flavours, take risks and share her cooking mastery with her fans. She has a recipe for every occasion from Sunday dinner to cook out season, not to mention her skills help shine a light on the flavours and fun of Jamaican culture.
We sat down with Chanell to understand more about what inspires her incredible dishes...
What does Carnival mean to you?
For me, my love of carnival started at a young age. Being a part of various bands, learning routines, performing and travelling around the country. From that my love for my culture, food & music grew more and more. And to this day carnival will forever be more than just a day to dance, eat and enjoy myself it's more importantly a celebration of the culture, FOR the culture.
Why do you think the TikTok community love your Jamaican food content so much?
I smiled after reading this question because in all honesty, at first, I didn't know. For me cooking my food and sharing it with the world makes me happy, whether it went viral or not, it gave me a purpose everyday. The fact that my content receives more love than I ever imagined from the world is a bonus! Something I never expected but a bonus that has brought me happiness beyond belief. I realised recently, sharing my content isn't about going viral or being the best, It's about being me, unapologetically, and with that my love for both food and music thrives, because it is truly me.
Specifically, when I cook I love to experiment with flavours, take risks and show the best of my cooking skills, which is cooking food from my Jamaican culture. A big part of those skills comes from my grandma, who from aged 7 taught me how to cook. From how to knead and fry dumplings to making fried chicken coating, I learned it all and that is was makes this so special.
What do you love most about TikTok?
That's hard because I love SO MUCH about TikTok, but what I love the most is when I see people duet my videos! Their reactions always make me happy, laugh, smile, etc! Even without trying my food people are attracted to it and seeing these reactions is something I always sit back and watch when I'm not busy content creating.
What is your favourite recent challenge or trend on TikTok?
Even though this wasn't an official trend, I saw that a lot of people were going to Nandos and trying out the 'Nandos Dirty Fries' a dish that wasn't on the menu, but if you ordered their boneless chicken thighs, peri peri chips, grilled halloumi, perinaise and chilli jam, you could simply assemble it yourself. Now I'm not gonna lie, seeing this for the first time on my For You Page I thought, I know i can make this, I swiped up and put the idea to the back of my head. Then I saw it again and again and it was a no brainer, I had to create this a home. And well I went to the supermarket got everything I needed and started to cook. I'd never made the dish before, but I just followed my heart and love for cooking and the rest was history. I posted it and seeing the response was everything! That trend was so fun!
What is your goal on TikTok?
My goal on TikTok is to become the TikTok chef that brings the vibes to more and more people around the world! I want to inspire other to pursue their dreams just as I did and to get cooking in the kitchen! I've got so many ideas that I'm determined to make happen for my followers! and the BIG dream is that I'd love to one day host the first TikTok cookout. Cookouts are a celebration of everything family, friends and food and TikTok celebrates that for me everyday! So that dream is something I'm determined to make happen.
What else or who else is on your TikTok For You feed?!
A lot of djs are on my feed as aside from food my love for music is constant! From dancehall to RnB I'm always listening and always vibing! My favourite dj on TikTok has got to be Dj Emz!
What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
My favourite TikTok to date is hands down is my Jamaican independence day TikTok. Showing all of my favourite Jamaican dishes that I love to cook. Watching it makes me proud to see how far I've come and seeing my supporters from all over the world sharing their love for Jamaica. The TikTok was being shared so much and I even had a message from my sister who was in jamaica at the time, that someone even showed her the TikTok and they didn't know that she knew me. That was a very proud moment to know that everywhere around the world, as far as Jamaica, people were loving my content.