“What’s up buttercup?” This is how Desarae Legros starts each video on her TikTok account @cooking_comedy_chaos. With close to 200,000 followers, Legros’ account is a treasure trove of fun cooking videos, but her journey wasn’t always smooth.
“It was a fluke accident,” Legros says. Back in December 2021, Legros joined TikTok after her husband bought her a molecular gastronomy kit, but her first couple of videos were “pure chaos,” she tells Pittsburgh City Paper.
At the time, Legros was struggling with self-acceptance. She had broken her ankle in 2020 and, despite multiple surgeries, her doctor said it would never fully heal. Now disabled, her 20-year career in restaurants came to an end. Starting her TikTok account and embracing who she was allowed Legros to grow a dedicated fanbase and a community full of laughter and philanthropy.
She has multiple signature sayings and mannerisms that make her stand out from other cooking-related social media accounts, including occasional appearances from one of her most notable quirks, Linda.
“I have this alter ego that I’ve blamed everything on for the last 15 years of my life. Her name is Linda,” Legros says. “So anytime anything goes wrong in the kitchen, it’s definitely Linda’s fault. I am a top-tier chef and Linda’s just a trainwreck. So, we meet in the middle.”
Legros can also be spotted wearing a unicorn headband or declaring a recipe “certified unicorn” when she finds it magical. Ultimately, she says her goal is to inspire people to get back in the kitchen, laugh at their mistakes, and bond through cooking.
Despite her success, Legros does not take money from the TikTok creator fund. Instead, she believes in giving back to her community because of her history of growing up poor and in the foster care system. Legros is now involved in charity organizations such as Lasagna Love and has put together events like a recent barbecue cookoff that raised $1,765 for Monessen Middle School students.
From all of this, Legros hopes to someday start a nonprofit cooking school for youth in the foster care system and have her own cooking show on Comedy Central where, she says, she’d be able to continue to spread her love of laughter and cooking.
Cooking Comedy Chaos. tiktok.com/@cooking_comedy_chaos