What makes a great team? Answers to this question are endless; typical responses include communication, work ethic and a strong leader. For The Chefs, it is mutual respect, a love for their craft and an innate desire to spread positive energy. “Chef Anthony is a kind-hearted and open minded individual”. “Chef Albert is a kind and gentle soul with a gleaming smile and a fun personality" (About Us). Chef KD is an honorable man with true familial values and an altruistic personality. All three chefs come from humble beginnings and experienced a wide array of hardships in their lives. Through their culinary craft, The Chefs are able to productively cope with their struggles and produce smiles on the faces of their satisfied customers. “Ambitious, Creative, and Down To Earth: The Chefs”. (Home Page)
Respect is necessary in a kitchen. Scorching ovens, sizzling pans and boiling oils turns an otherwise cold and metallic room, into a blazing inferno. Add ego and tempers into the mix and you might as well consider it to be Hell’s Kitchen. So what is The Chefs’ secret? A mutual respect for each other’s craftsmanship and personal values.
All three chefs are unique. At a young age, Chef Anthony was diagnosed with Autism. As a society, we understand Autism to be a disability, but to Anthony it is his muse. Chef Anthony is able to conceptualize and create dishes that is distinct to him and his abilities. They are flavorful, tasty and visually appealing. It is truly remarkable and is his own form of art. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of his creations (Image Gallery) and try to keep your mouth from hanging open…good luck.
Chef Albert has been through his own battles as well. At birth, he suffered from kidney failure. As a result, he has been through two kidney transplants in his life, and will likely need more in his future. From transplants to sickness from this organ failure, Chef Albert is known for pushing through hard times to achieve betterment.
As for Chef KD, much of his struggles are products of the all-too-real circumstances of global warfare. Corporal Kearston “KD” Edwards served two tours in Afghanistan for the United States Army. During a transit operation in his second tour, KD and a few members of his platoon circumvented a near death experience when they fell victim to a roadside bomb. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his valiance, and was honorably discharged. Chef KD succeeded in overcoming death, as well as the physical and mental problems that many combat veterans know all too well.
All three men have struggled, but it is through their craft that they grow.
A Love for Their Craft
It is the craft of cooking that heals The Chefs and propels them forward in their mission. All three agree that cooking to them is a form of meditation. Headspace states that, “the art of mindful cooking presents the opportunity to anchor the mind and focus attention on the senses, tuning them in to the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of the culinary task at hand. In applying attention to the details of what you are doing, you will likely discover an increased calm and clarity in the kitchen.”
Through their cooking, The Chefs are able to silence their thoughts and focus on their craft. Their actions send them into a meditative state. Autism, kidney problems and the aftermaths of war…none of this matters when they are in the kitchen. It is just them, their tools, their appliances, the food, and their vision. And when their practice is finished and the food is served, they stand in amusement at the satisfaction that runs across the faces of their customers. Contentness at its finest.
A Desire to Spread Positive Energy
The mindfulness that The Chefs experience in their cooking spreads to the people they serve. They approach their customers with a smile on their face and an eagerness to exchange pleasantries. You can really taste and feel the love. What matters more is that their charisma remains the same no matter the consumer. Everyone is an equal in their eyes.
Beyond their day-to-day catering efforts, The Chefs aim to improve the Charlotte community at large. Given their life struggles, Anthony, Albert and KD are eager to make a positive impact. They aim to assist others who live with similar struggles to their own. Focusing on Charlotte initially, The Chefs are making strides towards developing community programs. Their ultimate goal is to help those who live with a wide array of disabilities: autism, organ failure and PTSD to name a few. They want to work with police as well as previously convicted criminals to break barriers and improve relations. And after establishing a strong foundation in the Charlotte area, The Chefs plan to help people across the nation in a similar capacity, on a much broader scale. All of these goals stem from a desire to provide better opportunity for their fellow citizens in the Charlotte community. Keep an eye out. A lot of this is currently in the works and there will be more from The Chefs in the near future.
People helping people; the World needs more of this. The Chefs are exemplary citizens of Charlotte, North Carolina and their story is still very young. They respect each other, they love what they do and they aim to spread positivity. Sounds like a winning recipe!