Anyone who knows me or reads my social media posts regularly knows that cooking is not my forte. That’s one reason why sitting down with celebrity Chef Elliott Farmer on episode three of the “Southern Life Indian Wife” podcast brought me so much joy.
Chef Elliott Farmer is an Atlanta native who has more accomplishments on his resume than I could ever dream of for myself. He is a cookbook author who inspired me to publish my own book years ago. He has appeared on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” for two seasons, his catering company provided meals for SuperBowl VII in Atlanta, filmed a pilot for Food Network’s “Atlanta Chefs,” and has made TV and film appearances, including “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” To top that off the man has a doctoral degree in Psychology!
I met Chef Elliott through my husband on the set filming his “Atlanta Chefs” pilot, and instantly fell in friendship love.
In the podcast, he opens up about how his work ethic took him on a long journey from a poor childhood in Atlanta to celebrity chef and Doctor of Psychology. He talks about making love to your food, and his new catering venture associated with Jay-Z and Usher.
His talk of food will make you hungry.
His charm and infectious optimism will knock your socks off and keep you wanting more.
Subscribe to “Southern Life Indian Wife” where you listen to podcasts. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook! To learn more about Chef Elliott Farmer, find him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and at his website.
I’m a lifelong Southerner married to an Indian man who grew up in South Africa during apartheid and I am fiercely proud about. If you don’t like that Well bless your heart. I’m Cheryl Parbhoo and this is southern life Indian wife.
Today I’m joined by chef Elliot farmer. This dear man is going to leave you laughing and probably hungry.
I just love him. He is a celebrity chef entrepreneur cookbook author and TV and radio personality. He was a contestant on Food Network show Cutthroat Kitchen for two seasons. His company catered Super Bowl 52 in Atlanta.
He filmed a pilot for a Food Network’s Atlanta chefs and has even appeared in movies and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
And he has a doctorate to boot. We talk about what it was like for him growing up poor in Atlanta and then becoming a celebrity chef about making love to your food when you cook.
And his new venture with some big celebrities.
I’m not a name dropper JayZ and Usher but it’s quite a story. So I am thrilled to welcome chef Elliot farmer.
Man I’m out of breath after saying all that so welcome.
Well thank you for having me. I’m so glad to have you here.
I’ve been wanting to get you here for ever so today is a really good day for me.
So likewise likewise.
So let’s talk about you. Do you ever sleep with all those things that you do.
I do actually. I get a good two I was. No. No I’m kidding. I average at least a good seven. OK seven hours of sleep a night.
So during the day you must not sit down.
I try to get a nap here. I really do. But but my days are full of trying to create more business a half more business. And you try to wine down you know to allow your mind to rest. So when you do lay down to go to sleep you’re pretty well rested. But my mind is always constantly going what’s going to be the next big thing. What’s going to be the next food adventure or business adventure for me. So wow I’m constantly if not physically working I’m doing it in my mind.
Yeah. And that’s why you are one of those people that I’ve looked up to for a long time even before I met you. Oh yes. So I have to talk about how I even heard about you and the influence that you had on me and my life and my career. So you and I may I want to talk about this. Oh don’t cry. So you are actually one of my husband’s patients.
That’s my buddy. Yes. He’s one of the best Dennis in the world and he he is the best. I’ve been following him. I know for over 20 years. Oh wow I had no idea was that when he moves I move with their office.
Well in that I think is how he knew so much about you and your trajectory with your career. And I don’t know how many years it’s been now but I had just started writing my book or just kind of thinking about the process of writing my novel and I didn’t think anybody was ever going to read it. And he started coming home from work saying you know I’ve got this patient. And of course he didn’t tell me any details no violation of anything. Oh no he has this patient who is just such a go getter and he put out this cookbook and he’s selling that cookbook and he is working his way through this area. This field of culinary arts and you can do this too honey. And so you know over a couple of years that really planted that seed in my mind and I thought you know what other people can do this and get successful and I can I can publish a book. Absolutely. So you are one of those people that really planted that seed for me and helped me to publish my book and now I’m working on a second one. Oh yeah. I just wanted to say thank you to you know in front of the whole world for helping me. Well you never know how your story is affecting people or not for that matter but wow I never knew that.
I never knew that.
So there you go. There we go. That’s one of those ways that you’ve impacted people. But I mean I think definitely with what you do for a living you’ve had a huge impact on people with spreading your you’re cooking your knowledge and I think probably you know your love for food and maybe love for people through your food.
I do love people. I do. I’m such a people person. I never meet any strangers. But for me to meet someone I guess for the first time literally you would think I’ve known them for ages.
So that’s how I felt when I first met you. Really. And I think I first met you at the filming of your pilot or the pilot show for the Food Network.
We were aware downtown at the Rialto. Yes. Yes. Do you and your husband were all decked out in your finery.
Yes. Yeah I was really glad that I had makeup on when I first met you.
Oh no you are beautiful whip out may call your choose say so. Yes that was. That’s been a couple of years ago.
Yeah it has. Yeah. Couple of years or so. That was a fun time. I just felt like you know we’re best friends already. Ready. Absolutely. Yeah. So let’s kind of talk about let’s just go back to the beginning and where you began and how did this whole love of cooking start. Where do you grow up.
Well to be honest the love of cooking didn’t come until my teenage years. I used to actually hate to cook. I hated it with the past. I’m a native Atlanta a greedy baby. And so those of us who are made of Atlantans of the old when we say greedy babies you know the we’re where we are originals. We are a rare breed but I grew up in a home with my aunts my great aunts my grandmother and so we had to do chores. The fellows went outside and worked on cars with my uncles and great uncles and the females stayed in the house and learned to cook. Well back then and even still now I don’t like getting dirty. I don’t like all of that oil on my skin. I know my hands because I would see my cousins and my uncles try to wash up for dinner and their hands were still just as dark from all of that. That that whatever from the cars and that was not my life not your thing. No no. So I asked if I could stay in and cook. And it was a lot of us in the home. We call it the family house and it’s still standing today. My younger cousins. I guess this would be the fifth generation is staying in the home in Atlanta. Why and his children and so probably with 17 18 of us in a three bedroom house. So my goodness. And so cousins piled up and you know beds are making pallets on the floor. But the thing was we never really had what I considered enough food. And so I was in the kitchen you know helping my Aunt Sue him. They taught me how to stretch OK. You know food and but it still wasn’t enough. And so the reason I didn’t like cooking because at night when we would go to bed my cousins would beat me up because they were still hungry and they said it was my fault because he was in the kitchen cooking. I said Why don’t we cook what they had.
Right. You know it’s not my fault you know.
And so I hated it because I knew every night and I love my cousins to lie. I loved them dearly but they would go in on me you know. And I said Oh this is not what I want to do. What you say about this or go outside and get dirty. So I took the beatings for a few years.
I go Oh my God.
And that was the main reason why I hated cooking.
So. So let me ask though. As far as you know you said normally the women were in the kitchen and the guys were out working on the cars. I know like in Indian culture which I married into it’s very much like that. And I mean my husband is a great Dennis but he never learned to cut. And when we got married he or when we were dating actually he didn’t even know where the silverware was in the kitchen. So there would’ve been a huge hubbub huge uproar if he had been in the kitchen cooking when he was growing up.
So was it was there any kind of stigma about that there was any kind of sort of still is OK. I think more so now because they know that I cook. They are calm clear. You know why we’re having this Sunday dinner. What do you bring him. Yeah. But now we have uncles. You know surprisingly that really can cook. But growing up that wasn’t the case. It was that the women did the cooking and the men were the outdoors. And then as time grew you know they taught us because the the female children weren’t man born anymore it was more males. That happens yes. And so life still had to go on. So we started having to do chores on the inside of the home cleaning and thus theme and doing laundry and things like that. And my aunt who’s this season now she said listen it was she had three girls and one boy and then I moved in with her. So we were the first five grandchildren and she said You fellows you boys are gonna learn how to keep house just as well as these girls. And so that was how I began to to really get into a more of a domestic type of situation because she was adamant about that but that was not the norm for us. Yeah that was not the norm.
OK. Yeah. Because like when I was growing up I mean men women cook it didn’t make any difference. But none of us were super into cooking anyway. It was kind of like you know hamburger helper or keyboard or something.
I now I know.
So I would say it’s not really real quick. Well I mean but it’s a hamburger. You’re helping it.
You know that’s true Helsing have having to preserve it already. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.
I mean my parents did cook and it was a lot of Southern cook and don’t like that because my family’s from Kentucky. Oh nice. So we had chicken livers. That’s one of my favorite foods that I’ve not had in years because my husband who grew up a vegetarian will not have that in his house. Do you like chicken livers.
Did you ever eat that we had chicken livers we had that gizzards we had chicken feet.
The chicken back. We have of course the drumsticks the pies the breast the wings but more so growing up in my home we had chicken feet. The chicken livers gizzards and the chicken backs.
So how do you prepare that. Is that one of those things that you had to do to stretch the food. Yes. Absolutely.
How does that work with with chicken backs. We would we would fried them because we grown up but we raise a lot of our own. I had one cousin that raised that turkeys. One cousin they raised chickens so we always had fresh eggs whether chicken eggs or Turkey eggs.
I had another cousin that raised hogs.
I had them all of us had some type of vegetation guard OK. My grandfather actually my great grandfather we had our garden was on top of the roof and so we would go up around the top of the roof and we would get our greens or what have you a cabbage or whatever. And when you have just one chicken and you have 17 people to feed you learn how to cut those in such a way that is going to stretch. And then how we also stretch that that chicken back and those are the pieces of chicken that we were able to our privilege to get. We would always make a gravy OK. And so that would stretch it even more. So even if you didn’t actually have a nice piece of chicken in it you had some pieces and that flavor and that flavor and then we would make either what we call a whole cakes which is like a cornbread pancake if you will with hot water and we would fry it or we would make some at that time mayonnaise dropped biscuits.
What’s that. I’m not a fan of mayonnaise. Oh but are a fan of biscuits. I love this.
I will have to make you some man A’s drop biscuits. OK. It is instead of the butter milk and eggs that people may put in or the mandates or let the minutes but or the butter or shortly. We used the mandates so it would just the managers and some all purpose flour a little salt right. Some baking soda or even baking powder. And you mix it and you take a spoon and you drop him on the pain that you kind of bake them.
It sounds easy. A really you don’t do that. It really is easy. And the key thing is to use a very cheap and expensive mandates don’t get expensive. The cheaper no name brand works best. OK. And that’s what we did and we were able to really stretch. I can even still do that today which actually helped me on some of my.
Television shows how the food network learning how to make do especially with Cutthroat Kitchen.
Don’t they just give you a few ingredients and just say do it and do it.
And then if someone comes and sabotages you I take steps in a way. Well you still have to create a bed. Oh my goodness. And so that upbringing helps me.
Heck yeah I’m sure. Yeah. So you you turn that around to work for you. I did. I did. So did you live in the city in Atlanta. Yes. OK. So you had garden on the roof on the roof and all these people had their the hogs and the chickens. Where were they.
Well Atlanta back then was not what it is now. OK. I just moved here in 94 so. Oh so you you just came just before the Olympic. Yes. So you you’ve seen the real city like Atlanta used to be very very country. Not as much as it was on Gone With The Wind because that was found here actually.
Tara Boulevard apparently is really terrible.
OK. And most people don’t really realize that. That’s true old south Atlanta. But we had you know we did have I 20 I remember when that came along but it was mostly just you know roads we didn’t have all the fancy interstate and so it was easy for us to to have farm. So we didn’t live in a subdivision where we couldn’t have you know the animals and all of that. So yes go where we’re going over John Boy’s house. And he said he got his eggs. And so we get in the wagon or the station wagon.
I was thinking what horse in the wagon the station wagon.
And that was that was our field trip also to get into a station wagon with our grandfather and go pick up you know stuff from the relatives.
Wow. So it it is amazing to me to see other people that have such a family and cultural connection to their food because you know I’m married into an Indian family and man oh man food is like numero uno thing without the entire identity and I didn’t grow up like that partially because my family moved us from Kentucky and we were just kind of the the outliers and I had a lot of McDonald’s and stuff like that. But. It was it wasn’t close to my family. So food wasn’t really a close thing. So I mean it sounds like food was really a cultural connection. Yes. And family was so did you grow up in an area that was predominantly African-American. I did.
OK I did. I grew up actually. Just just not far from the family house. Those projects don’t even exist anymore. Oh for our memorial tribe where startups have the drive. I think it’s the only one that still actually in existence in Atlanta. But that’s even still today. It’s predominantly a black area African-American area so it’s a different type of culture. OK a different type of culture. Totally different from what it was when I was growing up. Everybody knew everybody back then. You know if you did something wrong where you got it from the neighborhood you got it from the past. You got it. You know and when I say got it you got a weapon even from the pastor the pass that the principal the teacher because back then teachers were allowed to spank you. Yeah. And school and principals were. But you know. But it helped I think mold me into who I am now where I am now and because everybody was such close knit and knew everybody knew everybody’s business. I guess that’s why I’m such a people person now. I think even today.
Yeah yeah. I think groomed you for being able to you know just not meet a stranger. And I don’t I really don’t meet stranger. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So when was the first time you ever got out of your comfort zone and maybe did you eat fast food when you were growing up.
Oh no. OK. No no that was not something that was allowed. OK. No. Well when we couldn’t afford it.
Yeah. We couldn’t afford it. That was too many mouths. And we were just taught that that we had dinner as a family. I love that. Yeah. That’s so important. We have been as a family. It may not be what you want but you’re gonna have something to eat. Every day growing up every single day seven days a week. We always had some type of being ok or lagoon. No it’s always.
Oh my goodness. Now you’re saying that like did you not like it when you were growing up. There was only one. And still to this day I will marry that.
There there. We used to call them pocket books. But I think that the actual name is. It’s called a butter be OK. Now the real big fat white ones. And then the smaller ones are called lima beans but they’re they’re more so green. Now he blames me. I have nothing but those those bit pocketbooks those new and we have those every night with dinner Monday through Saturday. On Sunday we got a different meeting but Monday through Saturday we had pocket book and I guess you ate it because that was what you had.
I did. You did not. I did.
And not until I was a teenager and we knew that they realized that I’d never eat it.
What do you do with them slip them to the dog or just put them behind the stove.
Oh you sneaky boy and you know we had both. They didn’t know why we had rodents and they didn’t know why. Back then and when we moved and they move. That’s though they saw all of those pocket books. Those those other beings piled high behind that stove and they knew it was me. Did you get a weapon then. I got the worst beat in my life.
How old were you. I was a teen date. Oh boy. Wow. I was a teenager. Yes that’s funny. But I mean if you hate it you hate it you’re going to miss this. Not going to eat it.
And maybe if I prepared it myself. With a different flavor maybe I would like it now but I’m not even willing to.
I can’t even stand the sight of him right. Yeah man. So. When you’re a kid in the kitchen you’re having to cook. Did you have to do the dishes and all that kind of stuff after cooking or was it just cooking was your thing and then you were able to get out of there.
Oh no. The kitchen. If you cook you definitely clean OK. And that included sweeping and mopping every night. Wow. Yes. Yes you did all of it. And we didn’t have these luxurious dishwashers where you just load it up and put your butt right. No our hands where the dishwashers and I steal today and wash dishes get cleaner that way.
I know they do.
And even if I use the luxurious dishwasher I still have to watch him before I put them in and my children say why Dad the detergent says that they get all of that. Oh yeah. You don’t trust that. No. So I still hand wash and I still sweep and mop the kitchen. Wow. Every night I still wipe down the countertops and I still wipe down the cabinets and I still wipe down the walls.
That was our routine every day every night. OK. What we had to do. You were raised by some really good people. Yeah.
Sounds like these live jokers they got. Now these are great great great grandkids and great great grand nephews and cousins and nieces. They act as if they don’t know anything about it.
I say Well what happened right. Yeah I mean my kids love to cook but they think OK the cooking I’m eating the food that I cook then I’m done. You know they leave it and I’m like banging my head into the wall trying to get them to just clean it up but they think you know they don’t have to do that. Oh they think wrong. Yeah well I do end up making them but I just can’t understand why it has to be such a such a fight every claim as we go which is what I was taught.
Clean as you’re going. So by the time the food is ready you’re almost completely clean. Yeah. You know half of the battle is really gone.
Well that’s kind of my problem. I think you’ve probably seen some of my pictures on Facebook or I’m like this is my cooking disaster so I don’t plan as I go because it all just explodes in the kitchen. I need you to come and give me a cooking lesson. Absolutely mad. So. OK. How did you get into cooking as a career. Because I read online that you were a registered nurse at one point a registered nurse and educator.
I taught high school. You did. I did. I taught high school economics also college level. I taught fundamentals of mercy. Wow. I also taught psychology. I had my PSP in psychology. You do not. I do.
OK I feel like the laziest person in the world right now. Wow.
So no education for us. Growing up was very huge. We were taught because I come from that era. It was a different refer or African-American. We weren’t called African-Americans and we were called other things and even on my birth certificate right here in Atlanta I my birth certificate. I’m called the N word.
Now it’s on my birth certificate now really it’s my versus her. How is that possible. I mean I don’t come from that area. I didn’t grow up in Atlanta. I cannot believe that. So my birth certificate just makes me sick to be a part of the people that would let that happen.
Well I mean but that less that’s who we were. You know back then it’s an unfortunate thing but that’s best what our life was so we were taught in order to get out of that community. We had to have education because no matter what they did they couldn’t take with the knowledge they can never taken out. Right. And so I believe that and I still believe that. And so I I became what I call a professional student. And I still love to learn.
I absolutely love to learn but once I obtain that pasty I kind of pick the school I fall.
Well I think there’s quite a bit as hard as as the Devil’s Pie that it took a long time but it was it was no joke right.
It was no joke. And so cooking as a profession I would say came when I was a teenager. I worked in high school as a busboy. I did it at the Sheraton Hotel at the airport. And so we did that. And at that time the busboys were responsible for creating the food for happy hour. And during that time happy hour wasn’t just some peanuts and pretzels. It was real real food. It was real food. They would have filet me on. They would have shrimp cocktail you know things like that. And happy hour. It was crazy. And so I knew how to make collard greens ham how Cee Lo fried chicken smothered chicken hot cakes things like that mayonnaise drop biscuits that knew that kind of good right. But they said Oh no no we want our flaming yo to be medium. If you go over medium well it’s overcooked. I said Well what do you mean. It just goes everywhere. But. You know that’s what I’m accustomed to right. But there was Bri certified chefs in there. The mother mother. I see her last name was Smith her son James Smith Chef James Smith and his wife Maggie Smith. And they train me to be a sous chef on my first day they say we’re going to show you you know how to do it. And they did that second night they say we’re going to help you and that’s what they did. The third night they told me you’re on your own. Oh boy. And they meant that trial by fire I guess it was literally that I began to experience my culinary war zones and war scars literally. And so. But a groomed meeting for what I’m doing today. And that was something that I never imagined that that would happen. I was just trying to make money while I was in school. Sure yeah. That was it. And I stayed with the Sheraton 20 years. Wow. I did when I went off to college I first wanted to be a medical doctor and I said No I don’t want to go to school. Guess it’s too long. Yeah. That’s long so I settled for an associate’s degree because back then you you could become a nurse with two years a registered nurse and still make the same amount of money as a four year. Yeah. So why not just do the two year. And that’s what I did. And so I did that by this time. Now. I’m living in Tennessee. OK. What part of Tennessee and Chattanooga. OK. And then I say live that sort of signal Mountain which is one of the mountains and that area. And so I did that and decided to go back to school and get a B.S. and I had been in school so long. So I asked my counselor what can I get a degree in what I have already. And he said if you take a few more classes you can get your economics degree and that’s how it became because it was it was the quickest thing.
It was the quickest thing at that time.
I said Yeah I need to come on now. And so I’m still nursing on the weekends. Bayliss shifts as long as you work two to twelve hour shifts Saturday and Sunday. You got paid for 40 hours. Wow. And I taught school my knee through Friday and as long as I work one night out of a month at the Sheraton I could keep my benefits. That’s amazing. So I worked three jobs for 20 years.
That’s crazy. It’s crazy. I mean I think you know you came from this place where you knew you had to do that. We hired to do and DA. My husband he I don’t know if you know this. He grew up in Johannesburg South Africa. You know he never told me. Yeah. And so I mean I’m sure you know about apartheid. Yeah. Everybody was segregated so he grew up in a South Asian community. OK next to Soweto that was all of the African people black Africans in that area that were stuck there. Right. And then the white people ruled the country. Wow. And so he grew up knowing that education is the only way for him to succeed get out because there is absolutely no choice. And so he did the same kinds of things he came over here and he went to college he went to dental school he worked as a security guard nights when he was in dental school. And you just do what you gotta do.
So that’s why he’s so so so sick. So when you go in his always are you do it.
Yes. Four years ago he was a security guard.
Oh it makes sense now. Yeah yeah. You know he and I and some friends who are just freshly immigrated from South Africa we’re having a talk the other night because you know that the Indian mentality is education education education. Yes. And even as when our kids were grown up he put a lot of pressure on him because he said you know there’s nothing acceptable below an A. And I said Dude come on you know relax a little bit. But they said you know it’s in their DNA that you have to instill that in your kids did you. And I realized growing up in suburban white America I never had to worry about that. I you know I could go to college and do well I could not go to college and do OK because I had more opportunities. And all of us unfortunately big man and I think that’s what’s so great about talking to people that are different from yours you learn this stuff. I just I don’t want to ever be segregated from different people again and that’s why I love to do this podcast and the things that I write is I think it opens people’s eyes. Yes I think it really does because we all need to know this because at the end of the day we’re still human.
It’s your blood is just as red as mine. No. Absolutely. We’re just people right at the end of the day and we just traveled life maybe a little differently. That’s.
Yeah that’s absolutely it. And it’s circumstances that were beyond our control of right where we were born it’s absolute we had no choice about that. But now we have a choice.
We do. I mean hopefully you know people are making wiser choices. Unfortunately some don’t. But those who who are close to them and as long as you still have bread you still have the opportunity absolutely to make better choices. Yes to better yourself to create a better life for yourself. Am I at this age. You know I just recently a couple of years ago I received my p HD. So you know and in middle age well in middle age you know I’m still going to school because that’s just what I wanted to do. Never throw all these years later but I would still be a doctor not a medical doctor but I’m still a doctor.
OK. Should we call you Dr. Elliot or chef Elliot or Dr. chef only some paper.
They they say Dr. chef Elliot. I like that they do. I mean own it all they. Do you know when I was teaching college level you know they would say professor but it’s very few people know that I have my P H D I’m using Dr. a little bit more now than then you know previous these past two years but so is is becoming familiar to people but you know and now with your podcasts with all of these listeners you know where and why.
But I guess the secret is out now. Dr. Sheff Elliot is that is me. That is.
So is the P G and economics is actually an industrial organizational psychology. Holy moly. And so what I did. I can be you know a human resources director if I choose but I didn’t want to do a job or I could be a consultant for organizations that are having problems in the workforce. And so with that what I chose to specialize in was the food and beverage industry. OK. Perfect. And yes combine my culinary expertise with that. And so I don’t do a lot of consulting but I do I do some. And I also do a lot of restaurant consult consulting. But that’s that’s how I’m using it.
Fantastic. That’s what I’m using. You’re also getting on TV and meeting celebrities and I want to know about that. Well they’re behind me. Yeah. Well you are.
How did that all happen. It’s crazy because I used to have a. Blog Talk Radio Show. I did it for three years Chef Elliot’s entertaining solutions is what the title was and I would have as guest celebrity chefs every Thursday night between 7:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and they would be chefs from all over the world and about six months. And it came to our attention that the food network would be tuned in. Wow. Every Thursday night when someone from the Food Network headquarters office would be tuned in and finally they sent where they said call it on Facebook and inbox or a direct message or the messenger message again. They sent us a message and was asking if I would consider being a recruiter for them to get chefs to be on their competition shows. OK well I thought that was so spam.
I might not like the other day I got an inbox message from Kat Harrington. Jon Snow on Game of Thrones.
It wasn’t him. Oh no maybe it was him and I just messed it up. You just messed it up you know.
But come to find out at that time I sent it to to my PR team and I said take this out to see if it’s legit and come to find out it was legit. Wow. And so that’s how my.
Relationship with the Food Network started through social media. Social media can be amazing. It can be.
You know and I would recommend chefs to be on certain shows and you know they would be nice to me.
The Food Network. And then after a while I said to my PR.
Team I said well wonder why they don’t ask me to be on the show. So. My publicist asked them and said was definitely wants to know why don’t you ask him. And they said well we thought he would be too busy and wouldn’t have time. I said if you don’t tell them I would be on that show you had better. And that’s how I got on one of the shows. Wow. Cutthroat Kitchen Season 8. Aha. Episode Five at that time. And because at that time the ratings went through the roof and the YouTube video of that show at that time had record numbers. They invited me back also and created an episode centered around my personality.
Really. Is that still on YouTube can we fight still on YouTube episode or season.
It was seasoned the second time with Season 11 episode two at the time. It was a Christmas episode. What was it called the naughty versus nice. OK. So was I a naughty chef.
Oh I was I am nice. I think you had to have been a nice one I can’t imagine you being I’m not.
Oh yes there is that that that is you know that bad bad bad astigmatism but that that you know is sort of the personality of a chef.
OK. You know there.
I do have that trait. OK. Nothing like it used to be because back then at my Sheraton years they trained us to curse you out. Really. Listen I could put some words together.
I had no idea that were have you.
And so maybe two years. But I was trained. And they said if you’re not mean you’re not a good chef and over the course of time I say you know this is this is not me. This is not really who I am. So I had to really you know get away from that. And I’m I’m I’m just as nice in the kitchen as I am now. But those times will come.
OK. Yeah. Wow. So at home are you like that. No I mean in the kitchen nice in the kitchen. Oh no I’m wonderful.
OK. Very humbling very humble.
Do you make your kids cook with you. Dad like now.
No. I know all of my children can cook to survive. OK. Some are better than others. How many do you have. I have four Boy boys. I have all boys. I have my two older got sons are like my children. They all live with. OK. You know it at some point in their in their life. So they’re there my child way safe or. Or boys but they they’re wonderful cooks awesome. All of them have worked with me at some point in their life.
OK so you’ve given them something that they’re going to carry with them for their lives. Yes. For their lives. Yeah. Yeah. That’s pretty cool.
Yeah. But I’m patient in the kitchen. Mm hmm. I actually love people to cook for me. Really. I do. Hey I’m totally different at home now. Holidays. All right. I will get in the kitchen and I will feed them to the masses.
OK. Yeah. I think you saw on Facebook one time that I couldn’t cook a turkey and you’re like. And see when I see those polls I just think about my friend saying Oh I thought he looked like he was losing weight when I was in his office. No I’m kidding.
No it’s true. I said I do fall in love. You know when I was growing up. Oh he fell off a few pounds. He ain’t he. You know that’s what we would think. Right. And so we would gather food and bring take it to the house and backing him up. That’s what we call it but no no. Yeah. Kitchen this is your kitchen.
And if that works for you it works for you. Well you know I don’t mind cooking so much. It’s not my absolute favorite thing but I gotta tell you when I got married I married this guy. He was used to vegetarian. Yes. Super Spicy Curry kind of stuff. And that’s my kind of eating. Oh I mean I like that but I was only 19 when I got married. OK. And so what I knew to cook was you know trying to say in. OK. I didn’t know how to cook the fried chicken and mashed potatoes and green beans with bacon and that kind of stuff. That’s what I grew up with. And he looked at that and said Oh hell no. So I didn’t really you know in my marriage I didn’t really learn to love to cook because we never eat the same things. And it was a bit of a tug of war and his mom would come and bring her food and I was jealous of that. And so this is not a fun thing. So now maybe I can cultivate that because I’m past all that stuff.
And yet you have to make it fun. You know when I teach cooking classes culinary classes I love to teach it with couples because I make it sexy. Oh yeah. Food is romantic. It is very. Am I. I don’t know. You know I want to keep this rated P.G. but a lot of my students are nine months after that class had baby.
Body. You know I have some stairways.
Did they name the babies after you. I don’t know.
I don’t think I have any better named after me. No but this. That’s how even when I talk advanced Culinary Arts in High School I captured my high school students attention because I made cooking sexy. Yeah. You know I mean you have to make love to the chicken. Oh hey you’re cutting it out. You have to cut it a certain way or she’s not going to let you cut her again.
I have never had that kind of relationship with anything I’m cooking. You need to come take on your glasses.
It’s a wonderful experience. It truly is a chef Elliott’s experience in the kitchen with me. And that’s what I still do today. You know with your significant other just half fun in the kitchen and before you realize that you created some wonderful dishes they’re gonna taste better because you’re having fun. Yes. And you might consider women or God to feed them something you know it’s not like a chore. You know when you want positive energy because that goes into your food.
I truly believe that and that’s what I try to do.
So okay so you’re in the doctor. I’ll get to the kids. All right. Well do you think that maybe you can help us come up with a recipe for maybe like some Southern fried tandoori chicken or something like that. Absolutely. That would be good. That would please both of us. And you can. And you can. You can even even. Fry it and the IT to make it healthier. OK instead of deep fried.
All right. Right. I would be down with that. I don’t like to have a lot of oil. No no.
You know all you need is some cooking spray. OK. Yes I can be an oven Fry.
All right. Well we need to get some kind of recipe going for that. Let’s do some serious fusion. You know SAP’s earn an Emmy ending out Ed and say I love Indian cuisine.
Why. Because Curie is my favorite spice.
Is it really it. How do you get turned on to that.
I don’t know. But I don’t remember actually back it is once I was introduced to it. It has been such a love. Wow. I mean I eat curry something whether it’s curing goat curry chicken curry something at least once a week. Oh my goodness. OK. At least once a week in that different levels of heat you know to the Curry I don’t eat it as spicy as I once did.
You know we get a little old that things are changing. Yes. And the body eat with Van tag. So I kind of relax I toned it down. Yeah. Yeah I know.
But. Absolutely. Curry chicken is one of my top sellers to my corporate clients. So wow. And we’re catering.
OK. Very cool. I had no idea. I absolutely love it. That’s all. Absolutely love it. So eat with your cookie man. You have like crossed all kinds of boundaries with the curry and you know you’ve cooked the chicken backs and I mean you’ve done all kinds of stuff in this world.
Impressive. I had some chicken gives us last night. That’s.
I have that as a kid and I say that to my husband and he’s like don’t do that word.
Oh well we all have to create them in a different way for him. OK. Where he doesn’t realize his seat until he has actually finished and he said oh that was good.
Yes you have to enjoy it before you hear what it is. Yes. We are we we can work with that part. All right. Before he listens to this park.
Yes. Well we won’t close him into that yet. So what’s on the horizon for you.
What good things are coming up. So some things that we’re doing now. I have been selected as one of the premier chefs for this new company that’s coming to Atlanta that actually is in Atlanta now called tri hungry. It’s based out of Washington D.C. That’s the headquarters office. They’ve been in existence since 2016. So from D.C. They setup another office in Philadelphia and now Atlanta is the third office. And so this kind of stand from the Super Bowl. I got an opportunity to to meet Usher’s Mom tonight a pattern. I went and worked and she has a shared kitchen in Atlanta Jay’s Kitchen Incubator and so the Super Bowl and the NFL suggested her kitchen be one of the kitchens that I choose to to work in. And so that’s how we met. I chose her kitchen not realizing it was her at the time and she was so impressed with my style in the kitchen my work it’s my business having this you know so she kept my name on mine. And so when this was presented to her she actually got to usher her son and he got Jay-Z Beyonce’s husband to come on Bill. Oh wow. And they put in eight million dollars. Holy crap. To to make this happen here in Atlanta. And she wanted me to be one of the premiere chefs to start it up. And so I am one of those chefs because of her adulation. Thank you. And this this is an exclusive because this has not even been told on social media or anybody. Wow is this so you give him his call.
Okay I’ll get in the dirt. Yeah.
So I am working with Usher his mom and Jeezy. Wow. Have you met them all. I haven’t met Daisy. OK I haven’t met him yet but I’m sure I will very very extremely well when you do tell him I said hi.
Well you know who I am. No maybe you will after you tell him.
Well the thing is you just never know right. When we come and do those gizzards you know I may bring him with me. Awesome man my kids would just faint and.
Especially my 11 year old he is just and to all of that kind of music really. Yeah. Yes. So these are these are people that I’m working closely with and just this past weekend.
I am the only white chef that has been invited to go and cook for the headquarters from a motor city. Oh the hungry program. They were so impressed with this my tasting and of course I had curry chicken. And that was. Just mom Jeanette. She said I love curry. And so I had to make something that I knew she liked that cool how this little multicultural you know.
Situation is going on here.
And so I did it and and they sent me to to the headquarters office and I did a luncheon for them this past Friday. OK. And from that the CEO invited me back for June 6 because I have another celebrity chef from the Food Network that’s going to be there as a mentor 15 chefs. And he invited me to come. Wow. And I said Absolutely. And from that now I am considered the only travelling Ambassador chef for hungry where I would go to eat city and cook their clients. Wow.
So that you are you’re a big nobs.
Well I don’t know. I don’t know if I would say well in my book.
Because books yes for sure but that’s what’s new on the horizon. This is a huge opportunity. It’s certainly the largest contract I have had since being in this four time. And I have had some been blessed to have some very large you know contracts. OK. This is absolutely by far the largest.
So you are spreading your influence and your passion for food really really far now.
So I mean that’s that’s what they wanted. You know I actually mentioned they want my brand to grow with their brand because they taking the nation by storm and wherever they go they want to make sure that I go with. Amazing is a round Dory. That is amazing. It came from the Super Bowl.
You know you just never know. You don’t you just have to live an authentic life I think and always do your best.
Absolutely. I think good things come when. Absolutely. And then before I go back out I have got to make a stop to my dentist’s office because he he gets on me. Yeah. Before you’re on camera anywhere you. Get good. So I try to still do right. I think I look okay. Yeah. Yeah. I take pride in my smile. Yeah. And you’ve got a smile.
It has scared me quite quite far off my smile.
Well I am so glad to have gotten to talk to you and get your story. I mean like I said before you’re so inspiring. Oh the way I know you. You live an authentic life and you touch people wherever you go. So I’m just so glad to have had you here. Thank you so much.
Thank you for having me. I’m sorry but our time is up.
I was having such a good time but I look forward to seeing you know all the good things that come from you and maybe you’ll come back again. We can talk about some more stuff. Absolutely. I would be honored also. All right thanks so much.
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