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What is the difference between a personal chef and a private chef?

A personal chef cooks for many.  A private chef cooks for one family.  That’s the short answer. 

Are you professionally trained?

Yes.  I love to say that I am professionally trained and ancestrally schooled.  I graduated at the top of my class from a French Culinary School, which taught me lots of great techniques and broke some of my habits.  I’ve spent all of my life being schooled in the kitchens of my grandmothers, mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins; even still, today.

Who is your favorite chef / which chef inspires you the most?
Chefs Edna Lewis and Leah Chase are most definitely at the top of my list, alongside my grandmother Lily.  
What are the most common food allergens?
Most people with food allergies are allergic to one of the main 8:
cow’s milk, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, treenuts, shellfish, and the newly added sesame seeds.  There are plenty of other food allergies out there but these are the most common. 
How do you know if you have a food allergy or simply a food intolerance?

You should definitely see an allergist.  I can give you suggestions based upon the results and my many years of study, but I am no doctor.  Food allergies can be very serious so it’s best to get the proper testing done. 

What specifically do you study about food, as a culinary historian?
I study all things food but my focus is on the African Diaspora.  I believe you can learn so much about people and their culture through their relationship with food.  From how it’s grown and harvested, it’s medicinal uses, how it’s cooked and/or preserved, etc..  I also love to study vintage cookbooks.  I read them like novels and always feel like I’m taking back to the time period and/or region of that book…food always tells a story. 
What is your favorite ingredient?
There are so many but I would have to say ginger.  It’s very underrated and underused, in my opinion.  I always keep fresh ginger around.

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