BEHIND THE CHEF

A FOOD & LIFESTYLE BLOG BY CHEF JAE

  • Jasmine Smith

The Call





I started my journey in the private chef sector back in May of 2015. At the time an associate of mine was moonlighting as a private chef for Jarvis Jones. A former linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And I say moonlighting because in retrospect she & I had no damn idea what the hell me were doing. Just to be honest. Looking at that era being a private chef was common in and especially being a black one.



Chile talking about breaking the internet. With instagram being a new thing you began to see black "chefs" pop up from everywhere. Such inspiring times. Back to the story. I got a call asking me if a wanted to work evenings. Mind you I was a single mother and working the most ideal job ever at that time. I worked for a company called Guckenheimer. Its a food service contractor for corporate institutions like banks, factories and other establishments that operate Monday through Friday from 5am-4pm. I worked from 6:00am to 2:30pm. No weekends and no holidays ever, how perfect! So to receive this call was odd and slightly off putting. Because why in the hell would I want to do more work?




Nevertheless, I listened to her proposal and I decided to give it shot. What did I have to lose? My job? Not even, at worst I would never go back to the client and life would continue on per usual. Little did I know my world was about to change. So, this was the setup. I was to charge $125 a day and cook only dinner and get reimbursement for all the groceries and supplies purchased. I thought to myself this isn't bad I'm making a lot less in a day at work and I'm working half the time. I told her to set it up.


I can't recall if she had Jarvis connect with my client or she reached out to him. Little did I know my first ever private chef client would be Pro Bowler & Linebacker Ryan Shazier of the Pittsburgh Steelers in his rookie year. I had to google him, lol. I lived in Steeler country for years but was never a fan. I was completely out of the loop and not impressed to be honest. He was a rookie and an unknown name of names to me in regards to being a Steeler.


I get a voicemail the following day as I'm leaving work and surely enough it called to setup a meeting to go over his dietary restrictions at the time. We connected and I began work shortly after. I was hired without any resume, credentials or crazy vetting. Trust this was all new for everyone involved. As being a private chef was a very white space for white people. You never saw black people with money for private chefs hiring or having them.


A few days later I came and cooked for Ryan. I sealed the deal with Ryan the first day just be cooking from the heart. I made a very basic meal. Citrus Honey Glazed Chicken, Broccoli and Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes. From there I kept showing up.




0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

ABOUT BEHIND THE CHEF

You don’t have to be a professional chef to be curious about food. In my blog, you will learn about cooking new and exciting food, sourcing local ingredients, and making healthy eating fun. In addition, I talk about my passions for fitness, fashion, travel, and my life as a single mom.

Hire Chef Jae

From boutique catering experiences, personal chef services, and meal preparation, I’m here to add variety to your table. 

Thanks! Message sent.

Fill out the form or email us at foodie@chefjae.co