THE THUGGIN' CHEF▼
|-So how did you come up with the name “Thuggin’ Chef”?
CHEF: Well, that’s a funny story.
Actually, I was at dinner one night with some family members and I was
telling them that I wanted to do a cooking show.
Somehow or another my Aunt Rhonda said “The Thug Chef” and I kind of liked
it. Then I thought about it and said “The Thuggin’ Chef”. So I was kind of tossing it up between the Thug Chef and the Thuggin’Chef.
|The Thuggin’ Chef” just fits me better,.
-How did you get into cooking?
CHEF: Well, I got into cooking as a child. My grandmother always encouraged
me to learn how to be independent and cook for myself. Plus, I always watched
my mom cooking in the kitchen. I would just hang out in the kitchen watching
her put together these phenomenal meals. Sometimes it would be Chinese
food night complete with wok pot style prawn fried rice, egg foo yung,
tea, the whole nine yards. Or sometimes it might be Phillipino food with
homemade pancit. Creole night with Jambalaya. All meals from scratch. I
would be so hungry standing in the kitchen like a hungry puppy, drooling.
When I got older, I just remembered how she cooked the meals and started
cooking them myself. Of course they never tasted exactly like hers but
I came pretty close a few times. Just had a natural touch and passion for
cooking….. and eating (he laughs).
- So what is your specialty?-
CHEF: Well, people ask me that all the time, ah.. I really don’t have one particular
specialty, because I’m pretty much good at most things. I love to eat all
nationalities of cooking. Not very picky and always willing to try something
new. You have to be open-minded. With cooking, you never learn it all because
it is continually evolving and progressing. Just when you thought you had
something down, somebody adds a twist to it. That is the beauty of Culinary
Arts. So many styles I love. Indian, Creole, Japanese, French, Spanish,
Italian, Mexican, and the list goes on.
- What do you think about fusion cooking?
CHEF: Well, I like the whole concept of Fusion cooking, because it brings other
cultures together and culinary styles together which is the future of cooking.
That’s what I want to be a part of. That’s what I like. I’m all about Fusion
and contrast and different flavors and textures. There is no limit.
It’s just like musical compositions or music producing. You know, I am
a music producer. I do music as well, and I know I can live and die a hundred
thousand times and still never soak up everything there is to know about
music and different rhythms. The same applies to Culinary Art.
- So I heard you’ve lived in Tokyo for 4 years. Is that true?
CHEF: Yes, it is.
- So can you speak Japanese?
CHEF: (In Japanese) Itsumo Nihongo benkyo shimasu. Demo wakaranai tango ga ippai
arimasu. (I always study Japanese, but there are a lot of words that I
CHEF: I am not 100% fluent in Japanese, but I have a lot of books to study. I
practice whenever I can.
(In Japanese) Ippai hon arimasu yo. (I have a lot of books.)
- What do you think about Japanese cooking?
CHEF: Oh, when I went to Japan, it was a serious culture shock you know, but
to me Japanese chefs are among the best chefs in the world. They prove
time and time again that they are on top of their game as far as culinary
precision. I watch shows like Iron Chef and such and they really prove
that they can compete with the best. The exactness in which they prepare
and present a dish is amazing. The artistic ways that they build up these
plates and what they are doing with different foods is just great. I wish
to train up under Japanese chefs someday. Some sort of apprenticeship.
I plan on going back to Japan in about 2 yrs to learn more about Japanese
style culinary arts and cooking, placing a strong focus on contrast.With
both flavors and textures.
- So have you ever had any sort of schooling? Culinary art schooling or
CHEF: Oh yes, actually I graduated with Honors in the culinary program from Art
Institute of Seattle. It’s funny because I never checked my grades online
throughout the program and didn’t know until the end that I had graduated
with Honors. Oh well.
- So what do you see The Thuggin’ Chef doing in the near future?
CHEF: Well, I see The Thuggin’Chef going all the way. The whole concept, you
know. The cooking show is the perfect platform to do everything that I
want to do with my entertainment. As some of my fans know, I act, sing,
write music, write screen plays, do stand-up comedy, I wanna do cooking
shows for kids, I wanna do cook books. I mean the skies the limit. I was
always a good cook but Culinary Arts showed me the science of why the food
tasted good. It just opened up so many doors for me. You know I always
had a lot of opportunities, but now I see a lot more. Right now it’s just
time to be focused. I have the vision. That’s the hard part. Now it’s just
up to me to go ahead and execute the plan in order to get where I need
to be. You know what I’m saying? The Thuggin’ Chef!(he smiles).
- Do you want to do a cooking class in Japan?
CHEF: Definitely! Maybe even a cooking show. Who knows…maybe even a Thuggin’Chef
world tour!. Anything is possible when you’re The Thuggin’Chef.(he laughs).
- What is your favorite thing to eat?
CHEF: That is a question that I don’t think I can ever answer. I mean,
I have too many favorite things. I do love Shrimp Jambalaya but really,
everything is my favorite thing to eat. Just really good versions of it.
- Who are your favorite food network stars?
CHEF: Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, and Tyler Florence.
Message to all my fans,
To all those who have believed in me from the start and never doubted that
I could do it, I thank you. Thank you for the support and never compromising
great art for fancy lights and gimmicks. Everyone has a destiny. This is
mine. Creating masterpieces that become symphonies for the palate. The
legacy of a star that survived all odds to shine. When it feels like the
world is on your shoulders,…..close your eyes…take a deep breath…and see
the vision. Never doubt Life, Never doubt Art, and Never doubt Yourself.
Peace to The World!,
The Thuggin’ Chef