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A Conversation With Chef G. Garvin

Updated on March 17, 2010

Doing great things one day at a time.


Hello everyone this is The Handicapped Chef Carlton Haynes, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of America's Top Chef's of the Culinary World, Mr G. Garvin. Read on for what makes this man stand by the fire and take the heat. You'll even get a tip or two to on how to make Super Simple food you prepare to taste delicious! Before coming to TV One, G. Garvin was the executive chef and co-owner of a L.A. restaurant, which in less than a year earned top honors from both the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles magazine.

At a tender age of 13 he traded in his football gear for a dishwashing job to help his mother and 4 sisters keep food on the table. This lead Garvin to become one of the youngest cooks to ever work at a major eatery. Garvin has mastered the words, making it "Super Simple" (the title of his Second Book) an approach to his cooking. Super Simple is described as sophisticated simplicity- proving that even the most basic cooking palate can create the most flavorful of dishes.

Ever the entrepreneur, Garvin has developed his own line of spices, called G. Garvin Spices, and is currently working on national distribution for Garvin's third cookbook, titled, Dining In, which was released on October 7, 2008 and will feature all new, fine dining recipes that will provide even the most inexperienced cooks with recipes to create the most impressive gourmet meals in their own homes.

Garvin's approachable, friendly style and unmatched charm shine throughout this collection of more than 150 all - new recipes with his signature mix of flavor and style, From simple (BBQ Chicken Linguine) to sensational (Black Pepper Crusted Rack of Lamb). Chapters include Pasta and Things, Seafood, Big Boy Toys, Braise'Em, Gourmet Sandwiches, Simply Grilled, and Desserts with recipes for cooks of all skill levels in each chapter.

There are also beautiful color photos showcasing Garvin's fabulous food and lifestyle. Garvin's very own make it special tips show easy, impressive ways to present a dish with flair. This book features recipes that are simple enough to use everyday yet special enough to wow friends and family.

To further make an indelible mark on culinary history, Garvin is working passionately on opening a culinary camp in Chicago in 2009. The camp will cater to young adults and will offer an experiential education in hospitality and restaurant operations management, as well as culinary arts. Through this effort, he hopes to aid in breaking down the diversity barriers within not only the cooking industry, but the silos to which chefs of color are often kept - categorized more often by race than profession.

Also in 2009, we can expect the release of his memoir, "The Making of a Chef."

"There are no limits to what you can get", Garvin explains, "But you have to forge it for yourself" .Yearning for both business and creative success with food, he left an executive chef position to independently cater high-profile events, including two exclusive dinners for President Clinton, a private brunch for Senator Hillary Clinton and other notable clients.

After two years, he teamed with a catering client to open a restaurant. In fall of 2001, G. Garvin's opened to critical acclaim, then expanding two years later to more than double its size. G. Garvin knew when he started ‘'Turn Up The Heat'' that the show was geared towards reaching the African - American Community which is now over 40 million house holds that it was something that no other TV chef has ever done, Chef G. Garvin is proud of his black heritage and he hopes his fame will help "open doors" for other African-Americans who want to get into the culinary world.

This Culinary Super Star is convinced the entertainment industry is starting to embrace more people from ethnic backgrounds - but he still hopes more progress will be made. He goes on to tell me that, 'He doesn't think it's because there aren't any (talented African-American Culinary Chefs). It's just going to take a second for people to acknowledge all of them." G. Garvin continues to say. "We're getting there. I see a lot of powerful, talented African-American or Black people all the time. I am really proud that I am one of the artists that have had the opportunity to be on magazine covers and have my own television show. I do think that I'm opening doors for more Black men and women who want to pursue a career in Culinary Arts."

Garvin has great plans for his growing empire. His production company, "Garvin Productions," will soon begin producing several distinct made for television programs. In a very unique way, he will use the culinary experience to help resolve conflict, teach life lessons, and bring a new platform to help youth and adults cope with many of life's common social issues. Mr. Garvin went on to explain to me that he wants to help anyone who wants to help themselves all you have to do is contact him through his website

G. Garvin's business card may read "Chef," but he's also a career diplomat. His strongest allegiance is to cooking, but he's done more than any other African-American Chef, period. He has forge links between food, television, and culture in the black communities through out America Today.

I would like to take this time to thank Mr. Garvin for allowing me to sit down with him and do this interview that turn out to be a very pleasing conversation with a very, very, warm and understanding person and I wish him the best and continue success.

To all of G. Garvin's fans go out pick up a copy of his new book, Dining In. It's awesome, good reading and plenty of photos. I'm sure you will love the great recipes and all it has to offer. The book hits the stands on October 7, 2008.

Enclosed is a copy of one of G. Garvin recipes from (Dining In} for you to try it's so good with plenty of spices its Garlic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes. I know you will enjoy.

The Handicapped Chef, Carlton Haynes is owner of Triple H Catering and Consulting service/ for more information E-mail us

Garlic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes.

1 cup olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced

18 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

6 chicken thighs

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and ground

Black pepper

1 cup red cherry tomatoes

1 cup tiny yellow pear tomatoes

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1. For the marinade, in a medium bowl combine the 1 cup oil, half of the onions, half of the garlic, the 1 tablespoon rosemary and the 1 tablespoon thyme.

2. Place chicken in a resealable bag set in a shallow bowl. Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large heavy roasting pan heat the 2 tablespoons oil. Once the oil is hot, remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the roasting pan, skin side down. Sear the skin for 3 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, adding the remaining onions and garlic, all the tomatoes, and the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Transfer pan to the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (180°F).

Note: This Garlic Chicken is great served over brown rice or with sautéed broccoli. Makes 3 servings

Chef G.Garvin

A man on a mission

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    • profile image

      fred thompson 

      8 years ago

      whats up? trying to get at remember me from stanton rd.hollywood got kids by my sister ne-ne. next time you in atlanta i want to see you. later egg-head

    • Handicapped Chef profile imageAUTHOR

      Handicapped Chef 

      10 years ago from Radcliff Ky

      This was truly a great interview G. Garvin is a very warm and understanding young man, I wish him the best with all of his success.


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