KETO or K.O.

Self-taught personal chef serves up weekly meal preps

An apron displaying Sam's Kitchen.
An apron displaying Sam's Kitchen.
What’s better than enjoying a delicious meal? Enjoying a delicious meal that you don’t have to cook.

Samaria Barnes is a self-taught, personal chef who prepares both healthy and hearty food locally. Since December 2020, Barnes has been providing meal preps full-time through her business, Sam’s Kitchen.

Barnes provides keto lunch and dinner for her patrons weekly. Salmon, baked chicken, cauliflower rice and green beans are just a few of the many, delectable options that you will find on her ever-changing menu.

“I wanted to make a twist on food prepping,” Barnes said. “So, I put a twist on healthy eating as I specialize in Keto food.

Food doesn’t have to be bland and boring — you can still eat everyday food. It’s tasty, and at the same time you lose weight and save money.”

Barnes prides herself in preparing healthy food that is also affordable.

click to enlarge A meal is prepared for a customer by Sam Barnes. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SHOTS BY SOMI
Photo courtesy of Shots by Somi
A meal is prepared for a customer by Sam Barnes.
“My meal prepping starts at $75 a week,” Barnes said. “I have one guy who has already lost nine pounds and he just started last week. He said sometimes he spends $75 in one sitting at a restaurant.”

Barnes always knew that she enjoyed cooking, and she even shared that she sold dinners as a “side-hustle” while working her full-time job, but it wasn’t until the end of last year that she decided to provide meal preps as a full service. She said the uncertainty of the pandemic led her to do what she enjoyed doing with her life.

“Due to the uncertainty of last year, I gained the courage to get out there and say ‘life is too short, let me do what I love doing,’” Barnes said. “One day I woke up and realized that I wanted to follow my dreams and my passion and I love food and I love to cook, and I’ve always loved it.”

Barnes said, since a young girl, she has had a passion for preparing delicious meals.

“I remember being 8 or 9-years old watching Julia Childs on TV and saying ‘I want to do that; I want to cook’, and then going into the kitchen and making poached eggs,” Barnes said.

While Barnes does meal prep healthy meals, about twice a month, she also cooks hearty soul food that may lead you to a nap. Barnes said she prepares the dinners to serve about 200 people.

The personal chef also said that she announces when she sells dinners on her Facebook business page, and people come running.

click to enlarge Samaria Barnes prepares a dish of shrimp and grits for a customer. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SHOT BY SOMI
Photo courtesy of Shot by Somi
Samaria Barnes prepares a dish of shrimp and grits for a customer.
“Whenever I post a dinner, I sell out within two hours,” Barnes said.

To make it even sweeter, she pairs the dinner up with a free four ounce container of ice cream, which she makes herself, with both traditional and Keto-style options.

“I cook from the heart,” the chef said. “It’s called soul food and I feel like I cook from my soul. I put everything into it, and I love it.”

Barnes’ dinners are also available on DoorDash.

Visit Sam's Kitchen on Facebook for more details.

About The Author

Brandy Simpkins

Brandy Simpkins is the community/ event journalist for Connect Savannah. Simpkins is a born and raised Savannahian and an alumna of Savannah Savannah State University where she received her B.A. in English Language & Literature. Simpkins enjoys writing more than anything else in the world. She is a curious journalist,...
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