Let’s get things cooking! We spoke with the amazing and talented Chef Kobi

Let’s get things cooking! We spoke with the amazing and talented Chef Kobi, who inspires to venture out in the many routes in what she’s most passionate about.

What childhood memories have molded you into the person you are today? 

I was born in Long Island hospital, Brooklyn New York. My dad is from Belize a little country in Central America and my mom was born in Brooklyn and grew up in North Carolina in her preteen years. Being half Belizean game me a little culture, teaching me to look at things in a different perspective. Growing up in Bedstuy. My mother, baby brother, grandmother and I lived in a one bedroom apartment; with two twin beds, late night neighbor arguments, surrounded by projects and listening to drug addicts bang crack late at night. You know, the basic cliché Brooklyn hood story. Despite my surroundings I never knew I was living in the hood , yes we had periods of struggles , but it never lasted long ; because I was a spoiled rotten child. I was never hungry, always had the latest clothing, a clean house and ridiculous amount of toys. I’ve probably seen a bit more than the usual child but I was never exposed to too much; because of my mothers and grandmothers protection. My biggest role models were my mother, grandmother and grandfather. My mother taught me to be a go getter, extremely crafty and think anything is possible.my grandfather is the reason why I am so spoiled; but he also taught me humility, money managing skills and an amazing work ethic. My Liz butt aka my grandmother, she’s my party girl. She taught me to be optimistic, hustle for what you want and problems will always be temporary. I can hear her now saying “Everything will be ok”. I guess I can admit my childhood was pretty great. So yeah, my mentors, family and environment made me who I am today.

What insecurities have you overcome and still may be overcoming, if any?

One of my biggest insecurities are I always doubt myself, especially with new endeavors. I experience anxiety attacks from the smallest things. There’s been countless times that I’ve doubted myself with my cakes. These anxiety attacks surface when things don’t go as planned. I’ll be covered in cake batter, frosting on my face, crying on the floor because I ran into a road block while I’m in the process of making my cake. Funniest thing is; something is going to challenge you in every situation, you just have to learn how to fix it. There’s nothing, no one, and no plan that is perfect no matter what you’re doing. You’re bound to encounter challenges. But what’s life without Challenges? (sounds pretty boring to me)  Challenges aren’t always negative; to me they build character and prepare you for the worst.MY fear of regret keeps my insecurities from taking over. I just don’t want to be elderly, miserable, and on my last leg wondering “What if” That hell in itself. I would NEVER have an answer. So my advice is to always push yourself to get the end result. (THE ANSWER)

When did you decide culinary arts was your gift? Did you cook growing up?

As I look back, it was my childhood toys that sparked my interest in cooking. I remember the first toy that I was obsessed over, my kitchen playschool set. Then, I moved up to an “easy bake’ oven. They were my fav toys back then, I even used to make mud pies. I didn’t know that cooking and baking would be my calling, but I did know that whatever I chose to do with my life had to be art related. I loved graffiti, morals, and creative tattoos I guess being exposed to Street art, versatile people and different cultures brought that out of me. I still didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do until I entered my first competition in high school. My 12th grade year I applied to the “The Art /institutes Culinary Scholarship Competition”. To be accepted for the competition I had to come up with one appetizer and an entrée and make a recipe book for my meal. Shocked as ever, I became the top ten semifinalist in all of Georgia. After, I had to create a meal with a mystery basket that they provided for me and my competitors. I have to admit I was nervous as hell looking at the people I was going against and how much experience they had made me struggled to cut my tomatoes because I was trembling so much; but I pushed through. I didn’t win; but just to know I could push myself that far without any experience in a culinary kitchen meant a lot to me. That’s when I knew I had a gift.

Did you attend school? Or did you learn on your own? How important was it to finish school if you did attend?

Yes I attended Le cordon Bleu in Tucker GA. My plan was to start off with my culinary degree, and return to finish my baking and pastry degree. I never went back for baking so it’s always been self-taught for me. It was extremely important for me to finish, because honestly there’s nothing else I’ll rather do. So why not be the best at it. Be the best that you can be especially in your craft. People will see it through your work.

What do you have planned as a chef? Would you prefer being a personal chef or owning your own restaurant? 

In this industry there’s so many routes you can go with cooking, and I would love to do them all. I don’t have one main goal but one of my goals I would like to open a line of gluten free cakes and desserts, reason because I suffer from celiac disease. It’s a disease in which the small intestine is hypersensitivity to gluten, causing it to be difficult to digest foods. To me one of the worst allergies you can have because gluten is almost in EVERYTHING. As we grow older a lot of children are becoming more prone to allergies because of the food we eat. This causes children’s childhoods to become irregular. So something as simple making a cake can mean a lot. I would also like to  be a personal chef because you can make your own hours, you can pick and choose your cliental, easier menus changes and its more personal.

To learn more about Kobi, contact her IG: so_cluth.

Bri'Ann Stephenschef, food, cooking