Before meeting her, Rachel enjoyed watching Ayesha Curry cook on YouTube, and said she thought she’d be fun to hang out and cook with.
Rachel, who suffers from a rare genetic disease, said, “As an aspiring chef, I have always looked up to her as a role model.”
Rachel and her family flew in to San Francisco from their home state of Arkansas so Rachel could spend the day with Ayesha, and said that her admiration for the cookbook author and restauranteur was one of the reasons she got into cooking in the first place.
This past August, the two met at Ayesha’s restaurant, International Smoke in San Francisco, before the busy lunch service got underway. “I had been dreaming of my wish day for a long time but in all my dreams, I never imagined cooking and having a picnic with Ayesha. Her genuine kindness blew me away, and I enjoyed every moment I spent with her,” said Rachel.
Ayesha presented Rachel with her own customized chef’s coat and the two started cooking at a station set up just for them. Together they put the finishing touches on a tomato burrata salad and some ribs, while they chatted about what they each loved about cooking. As our photographer (and wish mom herself), Alissa, documented the wish, she noticed, “Rachel had an ear to ear grin from the moment I saw her. They laughed, talked, cooked, ate...the whole experience was truly magical to witness.”
Rachel and her family then went on a tour of the kitchen before heading to Golden Gate Park. While there, Ayesha took Rachel through the Conservatory of Flowers and then set up a picnic outside on the lawn for everyone to enjoy. Naturally, their lunch consisted of the food they had prepared together. “It felt so casual, so comfortable—it was like a group of longtime friends breaking bread (or in this case biscuits) while talking about everything from kids to culinary school,” said Alissa.
They spent a few hours chatting, during which Rachel said she’d like to get into a culinary program at her local college. Ayesha encouraged her to follow her passion and told her that she would be checking in on her on Instagram to track her progress. She also presented Rachel with a signed cookbook, some spatulas from her line, and a Zara gift card (Zara is Rachel’s favorite store).
As a final surprise, she let Rachel know there would be a box of cookware waiting for her when she got home from her wish. “Rachel's smile never left her face” said Alissa. “At one point I asked her when she thought she would stop smiling about this...her grin got even wider and she replied ‘Never’."
Rachel’s wish was extra special since it was the first wish Ayesha Curry has granted!