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From hair stylist to sous-chef, Detroit mother shares career pivot success

Metro Detroit mother pursues her passion for cooking after making career pivot
Metro Detroit mother pursues her passion for cooking after making career pivot 02:22

(CBS DETROIT) - Have you ever considered a career pivot, but you may have been too reluctant to take the leap? Well, we introduce you to chef Raina Black-Battle. 

It only took her a few years to go from hair stylist to sous-chef inside D.Prime at MGM Grand Detroit, but she admits the transition wasn't always easy.

"It's a peace point for me," Black-Battle said. "It's complete and total peace."

A peace promoted by a career pivot. Black-Battle was a hair braider for 20 years but shifted gears less than four years ago because of COVID-19. 

"During COVID, I had to completely shut down [my business], and I got more in tune with cooking," she said.

Black-Battle went to culinary school while working at a donut shop; that job eventually led to her first gig in a restaurant as a bartender.

"I started out in front of house," she said. "[I] slowly transitioned into back of house, and I found my place."

However, the chef admits the transition from braiding hair to braising brisket wasn't an easy one, especially in such a male-dominated field. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women account for just 23% of chefs and head cooks. Regardless, black-battle says she isn't going anywhere. She found her calling in the kitchen and encourages anyone else considering a career change to just do it.

"It's never too late to start over," she said. "There's a different feeling you get every time you start something new."

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