Interview With Chef Cordell Robinson

Interview With Chef Cordell Robinson

I had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Cordell Robinson.

Cordell Robinson known as “The Culinary Diva” is a world traveled man that has a love for food, helping others, and working hard. Cordell has a foundation called Shaping Futures Foundation, in which he is in the works of building an all-girls school in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Cordell cooks every day and challenges himself to make new and exciting dishes all the time. When Codell goes to dinner it is an experience of taste, textures and ambiance for him. It’s about the journey the food takes him on when dining and when cooking. Cordell has cooked for many people globally, adapting to cultures and cuisines. I sat down and obtained an exclusive interview with the culinary icon.

Interview With Chef Cordell Robinson

Can you share with us your background and your career?

I am a Menu Curator, Celebrity Chef, and Event Chef. I started cooking for large gatherings, which led me to various catering opportunities. The popularity of my food spread like wildfire by word of mouth, and I began to book gigs for high-profile clients and luxury brand events. I have cooked all over the world, Diego Garcia, Rota Spain, Sicily Italy, Crete Greece, London UK, Toronto Canada, Whistler, BC, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Paris, France. I have curated menus for 5-star resorts and restaurants.

Can you share with our readers how you started your company and the mission behind it?

I would not call it a company; it is more so a brand. I started my brand by really putting a lot into my craft and also thinking outside of the box for things that are not culinary-related but tie in together with my brand. I love luxury and fashion, and I marry that with culinary since, in many ways, they can go hand in hand. Gala’s and parties, the two topics are the fashions, and if the food is good or not. I always bring it when it comes to my food, and I have an arsenal of fashion in my closet that brings it. I am also very much into philanthropy, so I added a foundation to my brand’s portfolio (Shaping Futures Foundation). The mission behind my brand is to bring beauty into the world through giving back, feeding people delicious food, and looking fabulous while doing it.

How has fashion impacted you and your career?

I have always incorporated fashion into my myself and career. Fashion is an art, and each person’s style tells a lot about their personality, drive, and demeanor. I have always had a love for fashion, and I frequent some of my favorite designers. Over time I built organic relationships with fashion houses, and now I work with some of them through my foundation. Dolce & Gabbana is my closest partnership. They are absolutely amazing.  I feel that if you put on something that makes you feel good, then it sets the tone for your day or that event. That positive energy comes through in the food and how you react to things or points of view. Fashion has impacted my career in so many positive ways. Due to the relationships, I have built over time, I have been able to work on a few projects that marry food with fashion which is coming soon.

How is diversity in the workplace evolving, how does it play into your company and its mission?

Diversity is evolving in the workplace, where there are more of a variety of people represented. I see more people from diverse backgrounds being given and earning opportunities. I am all about a fair chance no matter what. If the person has the skills and talent and is just as good or better, they should be given the opportunity. My brand exudes diversity and always has because I do not look at a person’s gender, race, or sexual orientation when working with people. I want the person who can do the best job for the opportunity at hand. I think the tough conversations are being had more so now at workplaces than before.

During the pandemic, many people lost their jobs and livelihood; how did your company adapt and pivot during this time to be what it is today? 

Fortunately, I was able to use social media, and due to the nature of the business, people will always have to eat, so it was adjusting and taking time to hone in on details of where I wanted to take my brand. I brainstormed with my team to find creative ways to reintroduce my brand via social media, press, and online events to build an entirely new fan base.

If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what would you tell him and why?

I would tell my younger self to be more fearless and outgoing. Keep following your passion. Realize and understand that there will be many obstacles, but those obstacles will only make me better. Never be intimidated by anyone in the culinary world but take the opportunity to grow and learn when I encounter great chefs. I would tell him all of that because when I was young, I never said anything about my cooking, I just did it, so my relatives did not know besides my siblings. I could have asked questions I got answers to as an adult on family history, recipes, along with tips and tricks as well.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now?  

Yes, I am working on a few fascinating projects. I am not going to reveal just yet because in this business; there are always delays beyond your control. Also, of course, I am always working on my all-girls school in Tanzania Zanzibar. I will say this; some great things are coming down the pike that no one is doing and will allow me to be a trendsetter rather than adjusting to existing trends.

Where do you see yourself and your career going in this new year and the future?  

I see my career introducing fresh ideas to the culinary world and cooking in some amazing kitchens and for extraordinary people, growing my brand to bring more attention to my foundation (Shaping Futures Foundation). I see my projects coming to life and sharing them with the world.

How can our readers connect with you on social media?  

@Cordelltheculinarydiva – Instagram

Cordell Robinson- Facebook

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