ST. PETERSBURG – Ernestine McCrone could not take seeing a homeless woman walking the streets with no food to eat and no money to buy any. The compassion of her heart moved the skills of her hands and sent her into her kitchen.
The kitchen is the place where Ernestine’s love provides testimony for her desire to serve mankind.
In just a few minutes, she stirred up a hearty breakfast and brought it out to the frail-looking woman who appeared to have missed many meals, especially like the one she received that day. The smile of appreciation on the woman’s face spoke everything that needed to be said. That was a special moment for Ernestine and she never forgot that feeling.
“I’ve been cooking for a long time for my family and people who like to have gatherings,” she said. “That’s where the love comes out. I love cooking and I must say that I’m pretty good at it. When I fix food for other people, I mix a lot of love in it. That’s the main ingredient.”
Cooking really is nothing new Ernestine. As the proud mother of 10 children, 47 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, nearly every meal she cooks is a catering service experience. She takes pride in preparing southern style healthy meals with an emphasis on cleanliness while cooking.
With so many people requesting her delicious meals, she took to advance her cooking even more. Her granddaughter, Ameenah, suggested that she enroll in culinary school.
She already had knowledge of food preparation and experience cooking it. The schooling helped her to display her work and certify her to cater it.
“I really enjoyed culinary school,” said Ernestine. “One of the things that I loved about school was I could test what I already knew and compare it to what they expected us to learn. That is when I really knew that I was pretty good.”
Her granddaughter Ameenah, whose name means trustworthy, inspired McCrone to launch Ameenah’s Catering and Event Design where you can trust that the food will be mouthwatering.
Ernestine enjoys cooking and is really committed to people eating healthy. She has witnessed too many people succumb to health issues because of unhealthy diets, particularly in the African-American community.
Her squash pie is a healthy alternative to the sweet potato pie. She cites butternut squash nutrition facts as low in fat while delivering an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. Butternut squash also contains a significant amount of potassium, which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
For those of you who aren’t planning a catered event, she opens up her doors on Fridays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. for the hungry public. Located at 2213 6th Ave. S, you can sink your teeth into fare such as turkey wings, beef tips, collard greens, cabbage, macaroni and cheese, rice, fried chicken and cornbread. Her soul food is different, however.
“When you eat here you don’t get a lot of salt. You get tasty food, you know, healthy food. And it’s good—guarantee that.”
Ernestine and her husband Wilmer were featured last month in “2K Steps,” a local digital magazine. They called her food “delicious and healthy” and less expensive when compared with other health-conscious foods.
Her husband is known as the “Juice Man” for his all-natural fresh drinks. For example, he concocts a pineapple, mango and carrot drink that is to die for. All of his juice drinks are made with filtered water, and of course, love.
Everyone who meets Ernestine and Wilmer is treated like family. If you’re hungry, trust that you’ll get a healthy and delicious meal made with love at Ameenah’s.