chef abe

Who is Chef Abe?

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How did you get to where you are today, Chef Abe?

I can’t say that grew up like some people when they say they grew up in the kitchen with their parents.  My mom was always in the kitchen, and I was always kicked outside.  I had to stay outside until it was time to eat.

In my 20’s, I excelled at a lot of jobs; but I lost focus on them.  I was looking for that elevator, I wanted to make it to the top.   By the time I was 30 years old, I had to find something to do, it was career time.  People would tell me my brisket and crawfish were the best they had ever had and that pushed me forward.  I decided to go to cooking school and the first day I walked in, I fell in love.  I knew this was where my shine was going to be. I told my mom I was made for something great, and this is my greatness.

I didn’t take it to my head, I just kept going and going.

I’m dyslexic. I didn’t read a lot of books. It takes me too long to read so I didn’t get my knowledge from books.  I got it from being in the kitchen. I would grab stuff and I would make a dish of the fly.  I have a great love for seafood, but I have been able to work with all genres of food to develop my own pallet of flavors I like to share. I can make a million different sauces with a million different techniques, but I can’t tell you the name of them.  I’m asked all the time what I am making; I say, “I’m just making.” I can build a whole restaurant menu off that.

I got to where I am now by pure dedication and love for what I do.

Why did you start doing your meal-prepping business?

Being a troubled kid and going through a divorce, I wanted to look better, and I also wanted to feel better. When it came to the meal preps, my main thing was my mom and dad because of their diabetes. They were struggling with their condition, and they were not eating right.  I figured if I meal prepped for them and for us, we would all eat better. It grew from there. 

The first time we did it, it was 9 people, we worked ourselves to the bone, and we were tired as shit.  The next week it doubled and did the same the following week after that.  I had to learn the science of weekly meal preps, how to package it, etcetera. I used what I knew about healthy food and my body. I didn’t master plan it; I just kept doing it.  We are currently maxed at our facility doing 500 meals per week for our regular clients. We will be expanding in the coming months.   

chef abe making cucumber watermelon salad

At first, I thought it was a curse; but it ended up being my blessing.

What have been your struggles along the way?

I made a lot of bad decisions before I made the right decision when it came down to it. Jail, hanging around with the wrong crowd, easy money, growing up in a life where you get introduced to easy money; it’s hard to go work for anyone else.  A lot of us can’t escape the system because once you get caught in the system, you are branded. It’s hard to find a good job so you keep pushing in those same streets, same dark alleys, and going the same direction you don’t want to go.  I looked at my kids and I knew I had to have them look up to me one day and be like my dad did something with his life and that wasn’t the life.

I stopped looking back and telling myself it was the world’s problem. Every year, I was glad the year was over, and the next year was going to be better.  Ever since I turned that switch off, every year I tell myself that this year was a bad-ass year, and next year is going to be even better.  Any you know what? The next year has been better.  Every year keeps elevating because I push myself to the limits. 

The energy I have from my ADHD it’s unknown; being able to work a 16-hour shift and still work out and come home and cook for the family and do yard work.  Not a lot of people can do that. I am blessed to have it.  At first, I thought it was a curse; but it ended up being my blessing.

What are your future plans?

I’m open to wherever this will lead me; I want it all! My dream is to have a cooking show on a major network. Until I get there or win a big competition (side wink!), I will focus on expanding my healthy meal prep business, Kitchen Monster Creations. There could be a restaurant in the future too (another side wink!)!

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