kai chase

Fabulous People: Kai Chase

For more than 20 years, Chef Kai Chase has cooked for the likes of President Barack Obama, Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx and many others via her catering company, KC Foods. “After seeing my culinary creations resonate with celebrity clientele, I was inspired to share my favorite flavors on a wider scale – prompting me to create Creations by Kai, a collection of universal spices inspired by my unique culinary ethos.” Learn about Kai Chase…

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA.

First job: My very first culinary job was during my final weeks as a student at a small boutique culinary school called Epicurean in LA. I needed to obtain 60 hours externship in order to graduate, so I began work as a line cook at the restaurant owned by famed actress Pamela Anderson in Beverly Hills, called Sanctuary. It was the toughest, but most rewarding experience I’ve ever done – but I stuck with it because I knew if I could handle being thrown into the fire by being on the line, I would have what it takes to fulfill my life’s purpose and passion to become a seasoned chef. Not only did I complete the 60 hours externship, I stayed on for six more months working on the line and garnering more experience after completing my schooling. Afterwards, I flew to Paris, France to attend Le Cordon Bleu culinary academy to excel with Master studies before returning to California to open my own catering company.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: I’m a Los Angeles native, so I grew up being at the beach and appreciating, growing and eating local organic ingredients my entire life. Today, I still take road trips up and down the California coastline to taste and experience all of what my beautiful golden state has to offer in wineries, fruit farms, local seafood and Latin cuisine. I enjoy outdoor activities by going bike riding, roller skating, sunbathing and hiking.  If I’m not driving with friends up and down the coast, we’re taking spontaneous trips on the Amtrak (train) for a “food crawl,” or simply to appreciate the architecture and coastal scenery around town. There is nothing I love more than traveling and exploring unique food finds in my home state of California. There’s always something new and exciting to taste, see and do.  

Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment is launching my first business, my catering company, back in the late 90’s. I learned a lot about blueprints, zoning, product ordering and running a full-fledged catering and events company before opening the doors from other chef friends of mine. I built my business from the ground up at the young age of 25 and found success quickly by catering events for a lot of A-listers in Hollywood from executives to celebrities.    

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Having to close my catering company during its peak after 9/11. It was a difficult and sad decision to have to close my very first business, which was thriving and at its peak in catering sales and multiple events. At the time, my company was doing all the catering for the movie studios post parties, wrap parties, television shows and feature films. Once 9/11 hit, the studios doubled down on security and did not allow outside catering on lot premises. Big businesses were the norm and small businesses were closing. I had to sell equipment and close my doors. However, I leveraged my A-list rolodex to start a private chef company – and this move allowed me to spread my wings and create a beautiful career in the culinary world. 

Someone who inspires you and why: Maya Angelou, B. Smith and Anthony Bourdain. Maya for being a courageous activist and her influential writings as a Black female poet and author. B. Smith for her pioneering efforts as a Black woman restaurateur, cookbook author and businesswoman. Anthony Bourdain for his undying exploration and thirst for international culture, cuisine and humanity.  

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: This is not a glamorous job by any means.  Everyone wants to say they’re a chef because the title sounds prestigious and exciting, but it takes a lot of hard work, grit and consistency. If you’re passionate about becoming a chef, stay true to what you do, do it to the best of your ability and beyond, and most importantly NEVER GIVE UP!  

Favorite quote: “If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready!”

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: My love and adoration for pets. I’m looking to start a foundation to assist people with elderly pets healthcare who can’t afford it.

What makes someone fabulous: Staying in your truth and being grounded.  

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