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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Interview with The Chef-someone you want to know!

I promised that I would spotlight some of the awesome people that I know who are doing things and making moves. Why? Because the spotlight is not just for celebrities but those that are in our communities as well. Lift up our own...Support our own!

I had the lovely opportunity of interviewing a dear friend of mine Mr. Jerrold Brooks.  He's definitely a chef you want to get to know.

First can you give a brief biography on yourself?
My name is Jerrold Brooks; I’ve been in the professional culinary industry since 1994. I have one son and I love sporting events, dining out and researching new culinary trends. I’m a member of Cummins Street MB church in Memphis TN and I’m presently the Executive Chef for Sam’s Town Casino and resort in Robinsonville Ms. An 850 Room resort with 4 restaurants, 20,000 square foot of meeting space, room service and a 90,000 square foot casino.

What inspired you to become a chef?
I was inspired to become a chef at an early age when I would help my mom in the kitchen. She instilled a passion for cooking in me.

How long have you been a chef?
I have been an actual chef for 14 years now. My first chef position was Sous Chef in the Range Steakhouse in Vicksburg Ms.

What services do you offer?
I presently don’t offer many services outside of work, but I have done a few small catering events. However I do speak at high school vocational programs and at career days at local schools.

What are your specialties?
My specialties are modern regional cuisines using fresh seafood and high quality beef indigenous of the region.

Care to give away a fabulous recipe for your fans to try out? If so, what is it?
 No I don’t mind if you can convince me too. LOL
What are you most passionate about?
My son, and making people smile through food.

How do you feel about giving back?
I feel that giving back is everything. Someone had to give back to me to get me started.
Who are your inspirations in your field?
Masahari Morimoto and the late Patrick Clark.

How do you feel about the new craze of chef competitions on tv?
I love it because it continues to bring positive marketing to an industry that up until about 20 years ago was not given much respect and was meant for low educated and low skilled people. People use to view a chef as the man in the white t-shirt with a stinky cigar ringing a bell saying pick up.

Have you ever tried out for one? If so which one?
Yes I have. I tried out for Hell’s Kitchen but only made it to the second round of questioning.

Will you ever try out again?
Probably not

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Someone taking short cuts for the benefit of laziness. I hate that.

What do you bring to the table that most chef's don't?
Wow, difficult question. Just a desire to be number one and the best of everything I do. No one wants to be associated with a looser. “2 is not a winner and 3 no one remembers” Nelly

What are your future plans in the food industry?
To become an Executive Chef of a mega resort casino environment and eventually open a wine an hors d’ oeuvre bar that caters to the business class.

Your favorite quote?
“Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off” Colin Powell

So...I did get Jerrold to provide us with a great recipe for a dessert. How perfect since we are in the Holiday season and are surrounded by sweets no matter where we go lol. Listed below is the recipe for 
White chocolate chip bread pudding
12 ounce French bread
2 cups Heavy whipping cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large whole egg
3 Large egg yolks
2 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup pralines
1 cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Frangelico liqueur
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Cut the bread into manageable size pieces. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine the milk, sugar, egg, egg yolks and vanilla in a medium sauce pan over low heat; whisk to combine. Simmer, stirring constantly with spatula until custard thickens slightly about 3 to 5 minutes
Pour hot custard over the bread and toss gently to mix. Set aside to cool completely. When cool, add the chocolate chips and pralines and toss gently to mix. Pour the pudding into the oiled baking dish and bake until golden brown and set, about 45- 50 minutes.

Doesn't this sound delicious? I plan on making for my Christmas dinner. You can find Chef Jerrold Brooks on Facebook at

Chef Jerrold also wanted us to know that he's willing to travel for special events. Check him out!

Thanks Jerrold for your time and I wish you nothing but success in your career. Since the time of this interview Chef Jerrold has taken on a new position which will further advance him in his career. God bless!


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