Urban Food Print, interview, Isaiah Kelsey, chatting fabulously, eating fabulously
Isaiah Kelsey, E.I.C of Urban.Food.Print

 I first met Isaiah on Twitter {follow me! @SpeedyLVFoodie and Isaiah @Urban_Foodie14) when follow Friday was a MUST  every week. We were apart of the foodies to follow and then, he an I met at a couple food events. He was covering the events for his website  and I was working the events with some chef friends. We also know some of the same people, but it was one of those things were we never met one another. After a couple events, we swapped info an from there on, continued to stay on the radar with each other. Isaiah and I chatted recently and we both voiced that we wanted to collaborate with each other for our booming sites. What a great time to catch up on everything food related, because I just knew he had some good things going on, especially since I see him all over town, covering all the press for tons of food events and occasions. Check out the interview below and make sure you head over to Isaiah's website and also stay up to date with him on all of his new projects. 

Chris Stewart ~ What is your current job title?
Isaiah Kelsey ~ I wear so many entrepreneurial hats it's crazy! Currently my primary title is Editor-the-Chief, for my website Urban.Food.Print

CS~Where did you get your education?
IK ~ My education came from the Providence campus of Johnson & Wales University in 2008. I have a A.S. Baking & Pastry Arts and a B.S. Food Service Management. 

CS ~Where did you gain your experience?
IK ~ Well initially I started out as a prep cook for Marriott Hotels at the age of 16. After 3 years of working in that hotel, I worked my way up and earned the position of
assistant baker prior to attending college. While in college, I did a internship at
Walt Disney World in Florida for a semester and when I returned back to campus, I decided to pursue food service management as my bachelor's degree. After I graduated college, I managed
restaurants for five years until I realized I wanted to be my own boss.... an entrepreneur.

CS ~ I feel like there are pros and cons of going to culinary school. Do you think culinary school in this day and age is important?
IK ~ I think culinary school is essential to learning the basics and I believe it gives you a formal understanding of the culinary industry. I also think many culinary grads assume like many other career disciplines, once you take a test you are then awarded a white coat or given a title. Your culinary degree puts you ahead of some but thats only half the battle.

CS ~Where do you go for a no fail meal?
IK ~ With dining in New York City, it's so hard to pick just one. I really enjoy an assortment of different cuisines at several restaurants which includes SEA in Brooklyn, Strand Bistro in Manhattan, and Soul Flavors located in Jersey City, NJ.

Isaiah Kelsey, chatting fabulously, eating fabulously, chef, G. Garvin
Isaiah and Chef G.Garvin 

CS ~Have you ever felt race and age was or has played an issue in your
career thus far?
IK ~ Absolutely! With starting out so young at the age of 15, I've been told NO several times and that I wasn't good enough as if I was inferior to my colleagues. After awhile, I realized that I had to work three times as hard as anyone around me, and hold my head high because I was indeed the underdog ultimately who, at the end always prevailed. I prove them wrong every time, I just kept knocking em dead!

CS ~Do you feel that black chefs and food related jobs (ie maitre'd,
general managers, sommelier) get little to no exposure?
IK ~ I do think several of our black culinary professionals get little to no exposure, which is a large part of where I come in at with Urban.Food.Print. I highlight and
celebrate your story, struggles, and also the triumphs.

CS ~ What's your food philosophy?
IK ~ My food philosophy is that if your given the gift of culinary artistry, develop dishes as if they are paintings that create memories and trigger a variety of emotions.

Isaiah Kelsey, interview, chefs, Daniel Bouloud, chatting fabulously
Isaiah w/ Chef Daniel Bouloud and fellow chefs 

CS ~ Who are some of your favorite chefs and food elite?
IK ~ I've had some amazing food by some of the world's renowned chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Jean Georges, and Jacques Torres but I also admire and appreciate the
"little people" such as Sylvia Woods who paved the way for us to have a platform to express our culinary talents. Although there are many chefs who have benefited from that platform who loosened their humility and gained a sense of entitlement. After recently meeting Chef G.Garvin, I have a new energized hope for chefs of color!

CS ~ What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of being in this
IK ~ The most challenging aspect of this industry I would say is finding a balance in your life. Often times the work load is heavier than anything else, it always has been and always will be. The hours, the hot kitchen with no A/C, snooty VIPs, and my favorite are the guests who's allergic to the entire menu but insist on eating at the restaurant anyway. Ha! Some people get burnt out early on and some wouldn't have it any other way. It's all what you make of it. 

CS ~Do you think social media (i.e Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Blogging) is killing the essence of cooking and all that it means to be in this industry?
Isaiah Kelsey, chatting fabulously, chef, Marcus Samuelsson,
Chatting at an event with Chef Marcus Samuelsson 
IK ~ I personally embrace social media, its a new age with new ways of thinking. Bloggers aren't always the friendliest or the most knowledgeable like an accredited food critic but if they have a strong following, their opinions do count. Also posting photos is simply free marketing and publicity!

CS ~ Whats next for you? What can we look out for from you in the future.
IK ~ Whats Next For Me?! The world is next for me!... But seriously, I'm going to continue to grow my brand which includes my Urban.Food.Print publication, a short memoir I'm working on, and small baking business Urban Foodie Catering. I have so much more to give but you'll just have to wait and see! Talk less, do more.

CS ~What do you think about the young talent that is emerging in the industry today?
IK ~ I am so thrilled about these raw young talented chefs who have so much passion for their industry. What's most important to me is to stay humble and grounded. I think it's okay to follow in your mentor's path but its also just as important to create your own footsteps as well. 

Thank you Isaiah for the interview! Eat Fabulously! 

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