Norma Jean Darden has had a long and versatile career in the food and fashion worlds. As a Wilhelmina model, her photos appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, Glamour, Ladies Home Journal, Esquire, New York Magazine, Life, Newsweek and The New York Times. She was a favorite model of Essence Magazine and also worked for European magazines, such as Italian Vogue, Italian Bazaar and Elle.
Darden is also co-author, along with sister Carole, of the Award-Winning Doubleday book “Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine, Recipes and Reminiscences of a Family”. The book is a Historical Collection of Family Heritage, including recipes handed down for generations. The work became the first cookbook to come to the live stage when Darden toured the country with her one-woman show, Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine, for over a year.
Today Ms. Darden owns and operates SPOONBREAD INC. which includes SPOONBREAD CATERING, New York’s largest African American owned catering company and two thriving restaurants in Manhattan, Miss Mamie’s at 366 W. 110 St. and Miss Maude’s at 547 Lenox Ave. Spoonbread has a diverse and impressive client list, ranging from Fortune 500 majors like Time Warner, Microsoft, Viacom and Citibank to individual celebrity clientele and long time personal devotees. Oprah Magazine called owner Norma Jean Darden the “Secret Weapon Of Some Of New York’s Savviest Party-Givers”. The company is on the “Approved Caterer” list for many of NY’s hottest venues including The N.Y. Public Library, N.Y. Historical Society, M.O.M.A. and the Brooklyn Museum. Darden has appeared on TV’s Food Network and on Martha Stewart Living. O, Oprah Magazine called Darden the “Secret weapon of some of New York’s savviest Party-Givers”. Darden’s SPOONBREAD INC. has been selected to work as consultant with New York’s largest caterer, GREAT PERFORMANCES, on the opening of Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, one of three performances venues at the world class Jazz at Lincoln Center Facility in the new Time Warner Center in New York City.
Ms. Darden sits on the Board of the Salvation Army and recently co-chaired, along with sister Carole, Community Access’ Annual Gala benefiting homeless men and women with mental illness.