"I call it Southern Creole." ~ Private Chef Kenneth Temple
With an impressive culinary resume that includes a Bachelors of Science from The John Folse Culinary Institute in Thibodaux, La., providing top dishes for politicians, pro athletes of the NBA and NFL, and a host of other accomplishments —what else can one learn from Chef Kenneth Temple?
The New Orleans food gem is an on-air personality for the Black Food Network, an avid pillar of his community, owns and operates his company called Savory and has his own show on Facebook called the “Hunger Trap.” Temple works effortlessly to carve his rising business via community service projects, catering food under the Savory name, preparing for the release of his own cookbook, offers digital cooking classes to any interested participant(s) and more. I didn’t even know what digital cooking classes were until meeting Temple.
On Tuesday Aug. 19, Temple invited Where Y’at to join him during the live streaming of the “Hunger Trap.” Much like its name, Temple’s exquisite and refined taste in fresh ingredients and fresh food are both explained and cooked in a kitchen much reminiscent of the a “trap house.” My initial thought was some big, extravagant kitchen in some billion dollar building. The irony, right?
Temple communicated to us that while he had other aspirations, becoming a culinary artist wasn’t in the immediate forefront. “It wasn’t my first choice, upon graduating high school, “he said. “ I was always around cooking and baking because my father used to cook. When I went to Nicholls State, they had a culinary program and I took a chance on it.”
To ensure his definition of his profession, Temple isn’t just a cook – he’s a bonafied Chef! When you hear that someone is a cook versus a chef, one may wonder – what really is the difference to the culinary artist?
He expunged my confusion saying, “There’s an ongoing joke that says ‘the difference between a chef and a cook is a 20,000 tip [he laughs]. The cook’s main job is to prepare the food on his line. Even if you’re a chef, you’re still a cook at heart.”
He added that the transition from a cook to a private chef is contingent on one’s network. A private chef’s salary can range from 20,000 all the way up to six figures which goes hand and hand with what? Your NETWORK!
As a chef, Temple maintains who he is and what his profession exemplifies stating, “I hold on to the private title very heavily to differentiate myself from certain aspects of social attention I don’t need. I’m classically trained; I have a Bachelor Arts degree and have an extensive resume and growing. So I have to keep my work on a certain standard even though I’m not a Gordon Ramsey or Thomas Keller.”
…well, he’s definitely on his way to being some type of Gordon Ramsey and I’ll be front row and center when that time comes.
During the taping of his weekly live streaming show, viewers will learn that Temple enjoys the Outkast station on Pandora. He will literally wait to get a certain number of viewers all while entertaining them with friendly shout outs and mild chatter all with an infectious New Orleans drawl from his speaking voice. Not be outshined from his culinary persona, Temple is extremely kind and personable upon meeting him and during his segment, his persona presents a low key demeanor for the “cooking-ly challenged.”
He showcased his version of Maque Choux, originially made with Mahi Mahi, but with flounder as the substitute. Through the process, he had his own rhythmic pattern as to how he interacted with viewers from the cooking steps to answering questions. What was wonderful about it was not that it was live, but the fact that Temple showed steadiness all while maintaining energy that never lost the momentum. In other words, it’s challenging to have a short attention span during his segment.
His Savory seasoning, which gives food a nice but subtle kick, was heavily promoted during the streaming. Not only did it provide great flavor, but it’s Temple’s on concoction done by his very own hands. Not bad for a man cooking in “the trap.”
In terms of his recipes and signature dishes, Temple says, “As a private chef, I love cooking something new and to improve on it as I go. I’m really putting a lot of my favorite recipes in my upcoming book ‘Southern Creole.’”
Overall, Temple he makes you feel at ease about cooking either as a novice or even one who’s advanced. While his flavorful food is an impression in itself, it’s his humility within his profession that makes you want to come back to the “Hunger Trap.”
With a website fully equipped for your culinary questions and needs, check out Temple at ChefKennethTemple.com or his Instagram page @KennethTemple. Temple’s foods are incredibly satisfying, but it’s the attitude he places in the making of it that makes it better.
Check out some of the moments captured below courtesy of New Orlean's finest, Juston Jacques Photography: