Every Shef has a Story

The beauty in a homemade meal is that it has the ability to tell a story. When people cook with patience and passion, the end result is a dish that acts as a piece of artwork, a beautiful reflection of the artist who created it. Food that’s every bit as unique and interesting as the story behind the shef that made it.

Shefs Come from All Over the Globe

Our talented community of shefs come from 80 countries spanning all parts of the globe. In any given area, you may see shefs from Thailand, Jamaica, India, Pakistan, South Africa, or Ukraine, just to name a few.

In addition to providing you with a wide array of authentic ethnic food options, shefs make one-of-a-kind dishes that often span multiple cuisines. Shef Chere, for example, grew up in the kitchen of her grandmother cooking southern soul food. She later moved to NYC where she developed a deep love for Caribbean food. The result is a completely unique comfort food menu that’s equally inspired by Southern food and Caribbean cuisine.

Shef Troy is glad that he found a platform that has allowed him to “share [his] life on a plate of food.” As a Samoan shef, he’s been introducing people on the mainland to completely new types of food. While people may be familiar with a generalized Polynesian cuisine, most Polynesian restaurants are relatively narrow in scope. Through Shef, he now has the opportunity to share unique Samoan recipes that people can try for the very first time.

Shefs’ Dishes Showcase Their Culture & History

Shefs make and share their family recipes that have been perfected over decades. These intricate dishes showcase longstanding family traditions of cooking with their mothers and their mothers before them, passed down through generations.

Shef Johanna, for example, thinks her dishes are a perfect example of her native Filipino culture. In the Philippines, it is common to forgo utensils and eat them by hand. This ritual of eating, called kamayan, is like a communion. She explains, “Everytime I share a meal with a customer, I get to show them what Filipino food and our culture are all about. I am cooking recipes that I grew up with, that my family still cooks together to this day.”

The impressive resumes of shefs show a vast range of experience. Some have worked in restaurants or attended culinary school, while others have learned long-held family recipes by cooking in their home kitchens. Whatever the case, each shef’s unique path shines through in their dishes, resulting in original dishes that read like a resume of life experience.

Shefs Share a Love & Passion for Cooking

Talented cooks join the shef community for different reasons, but much of it boils down to love. Love of family, traditions, and of course, the love of food.

Many shefs report a strong yearning for traditional foods from their homeland after immigrating to the United States. They want to be reminded of home, and they want to share that with others who might be missing the same thing. They’re also able to share a taste of their country with others in their community who might not be familiar with it.

Cooking can also be a form of therapy, especially after experiencing loss. For Shef Ann, continuing to cook traditional homemade meals was a good way to honor her late husband and keep his memory alive.

Whatever the reason they started cooking, one thing all shefs have in common is their love and passion for cooking. And it shows in the food!

How to Support Your Local Shefs

Being a part of the Shef community gives many talented cooks the ability to earn meaningful income on their own schedules. Working from home allows many the flexibility they need to explore this passion that they otherwise might not be able to. It’s a unique and fulfilling job opportunity for our community that is primarily composed of women and POC.

By ordering homemade food from your local shefs, you’re supporting local families. Not only monetarily, but also by encouraging and empowering shefs to continue their passion. It allows them to continue to share their gift with the community.

So if you enjoy your shef-cooked recipe, be sure to leave a comment and recommend it to others. For many shefs, hearing from customers and interacting with the community is one of the best parts of the job. From all of us at Shef, your support means more than you know.