September 2021 Chef of the Month – Chef Jahnesta Watson (Chef Shaiheem)

We’re so excited to introduce our talented September 2021 Chef of the Month, Jahnesta Watson (Chef Shaiheem)! Originally from Mississippi, Chef Shaiheem moved around a lot before he permanently settled in Atlanta, Georgia. He owns The Guilty Plate Co. LLC, an Atlanta based catering company that he started back in 2016. Chef Shaiheem has been cooking ever since he was 17 years old! His first full-time job was at a burger spot in the Atlanta airport, and it helped him realize that food fueled his passions. Today, he continues to inspire his customers with the love he has for his craft and truly believes that he was placed on this earth to “Spread Light Through Food”. After all, feeding people is his love language.

1. Where were you born?
 I am originally from Gulfport, Mississippi but I moved back and forth between there and Georgia all my life. I moved to Atlanta, GA permanently in 2008.

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 
I’m a Project manager/Sampling & Projections operations analyst.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
My Cleaver is my favorite tool, it’s the sharpest knife in my kitchen and it’s never nicked me!

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
Hearing, I am also a singer so working on that has always been important to me. No one is ever going to sneak up on me!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Never stop creating, I challenge myself to create at least two things a week with ingredients I have never touched. I think it is important to venture out into other styles of cuisine to bring nuanced flavors to your foundational cooking style.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
The culinary tip that I think everyone should know and perfect is effectively seasoning and building flavor profiles. Every seasoning that is in your cabinet, does not belong on your food.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food to me is food that is cooked with love and food where every single flavor profile is vocal in your dish in the way that it needs to be heard.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 
Comfortability and style is important. I want to be able to move around easily and to not sweat too much in the kitchen. Even more so, I want to look damn good in it!

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
I love acidity so any excuse to use citrus and I am there for it!

10. Favorite city to dine out in? 
9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
Chicago, IL hands down! Chicago is such a culinary melting pot and I love diving into everything I can get my hands on when I’m there. There is no such thing as a diet when I am in The Chi!

11. Best dish you have ever made? 
I honestly try to top myself every time I step in the kitchen, I feel like superiority to the chef I was yesterday is always my goal, so I feel like I’m only as good as my last dish. Now that I’m done pontificating, Hazelnut Coffee braised Oxtails w/ Smoked Manchego gremolata over creamy polenta.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 
OXTAILS & JAPANESE FOOD

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 
I would love to cook for Michelle Obama, I just love that woman!

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?
I would say the most difficult thing is staying inspired and keeping yourself separated and special. It is a blessing and a rarity that you can make the money you need to survive cooking full time if that is your dream. The Chef community is infiltrated because everyone claims the word in a community that is already so oversaturated.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
I have been cooking professionally since I was 17. Cooking truly centers me. When I am in the kitchen creating dishes for others to eat, it nothing brings me more joy.  I truly believe that I have something special in store for anyone who tries my food. I believe I was placed on this Earth to “Spread Light Through Food” and just want everyone to experience the love I have for my craft because Feeding People is My Love Language.

Connect with our September 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @thechefshaiheem
Website: https://theguiltyplate.com/
TikTok: @thechefshaiheem

Shop Chef Coats

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