Photo Cred: Chef Smoove
Chef Smoove’s mission as a chef isn’t only to create flavor-packed dishes but to take traditional Black and Brown foodways and innovate healthy alternatives. To him, food isn’t just about nourishing the body but the spiritual and social health of the community.
Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, Chef Smoove learned about cooking by watching his mom prepare brisket. The art of marination, letting the beef marinate overnight in spice and honey, started his fascination with cooking.
After graduating with a degree in industrial engineering, Chef Smoove found himself at an existential crossroads – whether to follow a traditional corporate job or his passions. Instead, he opted to pursue a non-traditional pathway to the culinary arts while maintaining his full-time job.
Fortunately, he applied his skillset from engineering of implementing projects to improving lead times to the kitchen. With a scientific mindset of trial and effort in mind, Chef Smoove experimented in the kitchen, learning from each success and failure to devise master dishes.
Equally dedicated to improving the health of the Black and Brown communities, Chef Smoove wanted to find the equilibrium between health and flavor. After his parents passed away due to health reasons in 2014, he took stock of how spiritually and physically food impacts the broader community. His memories of his mother’s cooking live with him to today, the memories of her preparing and creating new unique dishes.
Thinking forward to his future children and the future community, in 2017, he began his journey into plant-based eating. In his culinary practice, Chef Smoove brings together both the spiritual and physical wellness food can offer. Through storytelling, he hopes his meals can bring awareness and resonate with the community.
While some chefs focus solely on taste, Chef Smoove began to concentrate on translating traditional Black and Brown recipes into healthier alternatives. After a couple of years of veganism himself, Chef Smoove pivoted his business to focus solely on plant-based meals. By switching his business towards plant-based, he found a greater purpose and value in his work.
In the kitchen, through extensive trial and error, Chef Smoove produced vegan soul food – with vegan fried chicken and mac and cheese. Now a staple of his Thanksgiving dinners, he hopes the dish can provide healthier alternatives without sacrificing flavor.
While Chef Smoove’s pathway to culinary arts was an alternative to other chefs, his scientific background has led him to pioneer Black and Brown vegan foodways. By revolutionizing the plant-based market by creating these alternatives, Chef Smoove hopes to bring more plant-based meals to future generations.
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