Chef Hollywood – Drake:
Growing up my love of cooking was ignited because I saw first hand how food brought people together. No matter what was going on in everyones lives we would try to make it to my grandmothers house weekly for Sunday dinners. Having my grandad teach me to fish and grill at a young age really got me into cooking and I just knew that I wanted to make it my career.
After I attended culinary school at The Art Institute of Atlanta my then Pastry Chef instructor, Bill Lipscomb nicknamed me “Hollywood” because I only put his first name on documents. I really took this and ran with it because it really became a talking point when meeting new people. During culinary school, I worked at two catering companies and upon graduation went on to work for The Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown Atlanta. When the opportunity to work on a cruise ship in Hawaii came along, I quickly packed my bags and hopped aboard. Going on to work for Norwegian Cruise Line for a couple years, this was my first taste of traveling and cooking combined.
After traveling parts of the world, I went back to Georgia and started working at Bold American Catering. While gaining both management experience and confidence as the Executive Spa Chef at Chateau Élan. I started to do private chef jobs during this time and realized that I really liked the freedom and creativity that came along with it. Any opportunity that comes my way that will push me further in my field I will take without hesitation. From flying out to Colorado to help cook for the 2015 World Ski Championships, to moving to a new state to get a new perspective on food.
Most recently I worked onboard Holland America Cruise Lines, as an “America’s Test Kitchen” Host. This has been a highlight in my career, because I’ve watched “America’s Test Kitchen” for years on TV. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to over 50 countries in the past 3 years all while teaching people from around the world about the science of cooking. The opportunity to not only teach other cultures our cooking techniques, but learn from other cultures has been amazing.
Currently I just moved back to Atlanta, where it all started for me and I’m working solely as a Personal Chef. Private dinners for 2, business brunches, cabin getaways, or even bachelor/bachelorette parties all have one thing in common. With me designing and executing your menu, you will have culinary creation that stands above the rest.