*Chef Jernard Wells knows that food is the ultimate unifier. The culinary kitchen artist, renowned chef and cookbook author, starring in the second season of New Soul Kitchen, produced by Powerhouse Productions and showing on Cleo TV, knows that great things can happen with a delicious meal as a backdrop.
“A vast majority of our life is revolved around food,” said Chef Jernard Wells. “We eat to live and we live to eat.”
Jernard Wells is back for a second season of sharing his secrets of culinary nirvana on New Soul Kitchen, but this season he’ll have a delicious twist- he’ll be featuring the culinary delights of four other chef’s- Chef Bren Herrera, who not only shares Latin fare, but also a mini-history of Afro Cuban cooking; Chef Essie Bartels, who adds her knowledge of Ghanaian cuisine; Chef Resha Purvis, an expert in Soul Food cuisine and Chef Ahki Taylor, who specializes in vegan cuisine.
“Everybody has a little vegan in them,” he laughed. “If somebody serves you a plate of food and it just has courses of meat in them, no side items, no vegetables, you’re going to feel slighted some kind of way.”
His show has something for even the most discriminating eaters.
“These young ladies are bringing some amazing concepts to the table,” he explained. “We have an Afro-Cuban young lady, bringing her Cuban diaspora to the table, we have a young lady from Ghana, Africa that’s bringing that culture in, immersed with Western ingredients, we have a vegan chef and we also have a keto chef.”
Being a culinary master is in the DNA of Jernard Wells. His southern roots provided a tradition for cookery established for centuries.
“There’s classically trained chefs, but with the vast majority of chefs, it’s already inbred in us,” said Jernard. “Growing up in Mississippi is really where I picked up my cooking roots. My father was a chef as well. I worked in the garden with him and my grandparents and growing fresh herbs; they had a cattle farm and a pig farm, so I really got that hands-on experience at an early age and started cooking at 8.”
He knew he had a natural flair for culinary artistry, however he needed the expertise to go along with his innate ability, so he attended culinary arts schools, including one located in Memphis, Tennessee.
“I majored in French and Cajun cuisine, if you bring them both together you get Creole cuisine, which is indigenous to Louisiana.”
The successful author and TV host knew that along with culinary talent, a key to success is entrepreneurship- learning how to make money doing a craft he loved. He ran his own restaurant, also at an early age.
“I opened my first restaurant when I was 16 years old out of my mother’s kitchen” he said. “It was a legitimate restaurant. I had a business license and everything that the local courthouse had gave me. But it was operational. I was making $3,000 a month selling food out of my mother’s kitchen.” To further his culinary education, in addition to studying abroad, the charismatic chef also studied at the Art Institute of Atlanta.
In one of the episodes, that will be broadcast next weekend, Jernard talks about his Apache roots. His Indian roots also had a profound influence on his abilities as a chef.
“It really about the herbs that you bring in from the ground,” he explained. “Utilizing rosemary, sage and different curries we liked to play with. But the biggest thing is more so the smoking (smoking food.) – when you get into the smoking- a lot of people think that barbecuing things we indigenous to the African-American culture, the African-American diaspora, but when you look at the Indian culture and how they were cooking, they weren’t using a grill, but they were using open-fire cast iron skillets, those things like that, using them to hone in on those flavors.”
One of the best aspects of the culinary experience is the opportunity of bringing people together.
“Food is the ultimate unifier,” said Chef Jernard Wells. “I’ve never seen anyone eating and frowning. It’s hard to do. Food has always been a gap-Bridger since the beginning of time.”
Season two of New Soul Kitchen returns with a double-header on Saturday, October 3 at 9p.m. ET / 8C and 9:30p.m. /8:30C.
For more information about CLEO TV and its upcoming programming, visit the network’s companion website at www.mycleo.tv. CLEO TV viewers can subscribe to our Youtube Channel for exclusive content and more. Join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@mycleotv) using the hashtag #CLEOTV.
Ross Williams: ‘Made It Out’ Author Recalls Escape from Streets of New Orleans and Corporate America
*Ross Williams made it out, and then he wrote a book about it.
Growing up in New Orleans’ 7th Ward can be rife with challenges. The horror stories far exceed the successful ones. Ross’s journey is an exception, and an exceptional one.
Surrounded by a solid family with community values, Williams attended Tulane University where he studied sociology. He has gone on to become the author of two best-sellers within an eight-month span.
“Made It Out” is testimony not only to his journey, but also to the similarities of surviving the streets and corporate America. His follow-up book, “Crabs In A Barrel: War On Racism,” gives a different perspective on the phrase that focuses more on the barrel than on the crab.
Author is just one of Williams’ many hats. He is also CEO of Williams Commerce Writing Services, which aims to empower job seekers, authors and entrepreneurs.
Zenger News invited Williams for a Q&A session to learn more about his break-out book and journey of discovery.
Percy Crawford interviewed Ross Williams for Zenger News.
Zenger: How did you break the cycle, so to speak, and make it out of the 7th Ward in New Orleans?
Williams: Really learned as much as possible. So, really learning what cursed prior generations and trying to avoid those same things. A lot of that came from learning from my parents who were born in the 1940s, so a lot of my family members are older. So, I have a lot of old-school values. I had the chance to learn about life before my era… I was able to accumulate all of that and just learn from every lesson or loss that I had in life and just never settled.
Zenger: What was it like growing up there and seeing some of the things you experienced?
Williams: I had a sense of pride about my community. My mother’s side of the family has been part of the St. Bernard, 7th Ward community since it was established back in the 1930s and 40s. A lot of people talk about the downfall of the neighborhood. Of course, I discuss that in my first book, “Made It Out,” some of the things I experienced. But one of the big things my neighborhood helped with was just building a confidence about myself and my abilities. At first it was basketball and then it became a swag with everything I do. I believe that I can be the best at whatever I put my mind to.
Zenger: What made you decide to even write a book?
Williams: Really to help other people to make it out of situations that they encountered. At first when I was writing my book, it was kind of like making it out of the inner city. I felt my lessons were applicable to any environment that you can grow up in. Like I said, learning from mistakes, gravitating towards positive energy, and learning from your losses. I really just wanted to give people the blueprint because halfway through the book it became about making it out of corporate America and becoming an entrepreneur. As of right now, even just picking up from there, I’m trying to show the world that I’ve made it out since then. Since the book, I’m still making it out.
Zenger: You actually make parallels in the book about the similarities of making it out of the street life and making it through corporate America. As crazy as it sounds, there’s not very much separation, is there?
Williams: I think in society with social engineering, a lot of us feel that if we are a different race or different religion, society has taught us that the next person is very different from us. And we can’t see eye-to-eye just because we come from different worlds or experiences. Gangstas and crooked people growing up in inner cities are no different than white collar gangstas. White collar gangstas are actually more cutthroat because at least in the neighborhood you know who to look out for. In corporate America, a lot of people have ulterior motives, but they project friendly energy. It’s not really necessary. It’s not these people need me to get by like in the neighborhood. It’s just out of malice. That’s why I feel like it’s grimier in corporate America because of how it’s presented to you.
Zenger: It can be difficult to navigate that.
Williams: Right. And something that my neighborhood taught me, once I started communicating with people in higher level CEO positions or people that made in the upper six figures or north of that, just the intellect and growing the confidence once I interacted with these people, it’s like, “Oh, I can sit in these positions too.” A lot of times we are made to look at certain people as if they are superior to us, especially when we’re coming from inner cities. But we have the same abilities as those people. A lot of those people had easier routes to get there. That’s one thing of just gaining confidence along each step of your journey.
Zenger: Did you anticipate becoming a best-selling author and your books having the kind of impact that they have had?
Williams: Humbly speaking, my mom always told me, “Don’t step at all if you are going to half step.” So, I know the tears, the blood and sweat that I put into each project, or even a client’s book. I put that same energy towards everything. I’m very strategic and I move with a sense of urgency. I visualized the successes that I have had in my career so many times over and over, that all of the excitement is poured into the process each day. So, when it happens, I’m kind of militant about it, so I’m really not surprised. I really put my all into each thing and utilize my natural skillset. I haven’t been surprised so far.
(Edited by André Johnson and Judy Isacoff)
The post ‘Made It Out’ Author Recalls Escape From Streets of New Orleans and Corporate America appeared first on Zenger News.
‘A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting’ Star Tamara Smart Stops by / WATCH
*Halloween looks a little different this year for most. If you’re looking for something to get your kids in the spirit of Halloween, the new Netflix film, “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting“ is a good start.
The film stars Tamara Smart who plays Kelly Ferguson, a babysitter turned superhero. While she is babysitting the young boy she is watching after, he is abducted by the boogeyman, played by Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”). She (Kelly Ferguson) is approached by a secret society of monster-fighting babysitters that help her on her mission to rescue the young boy.
The film isn’t just about the spooky boogeyman and monsters but the movie also focuses on kids from different backgrounds coming together to help one another. Each member of the babysitters’ secret society has a special skill, skills that they could be made for having, or even bullied by others. We talked with Tamara about all the different elements of the movie.
“I love the fact that when Kelly meets with the babysitters, they all have these different strengths that when you put them together their invincible. I’m hoping that kids will each character to relater to in some way,” says Tamara.
Smart also talks about the weakness that her character has and how the film shows her growth, from being bullied to becoming confident in who she is and not being ashamed of the things that make her, her. While watching this movie may confirm most kid’s fears about the boogeyman, but most importantly like Tamara said, hopefully kids will see themselves in the characters and can help them overcome any doubts or fears they may have about themselves.
Grab the family and some popcorn, don’t forget the flashlight, and tune into Netflix to check out “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting.” It’s streaming now.
Actress Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson Talks New Movie ‘A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting’ / Video
*Netflix has a new original film streaming to kick off the Halloween season.
We mention that because most Americans are dealing with a new normal and going to haunted houses or going to the movies to see a new scary movie isn’t an option.
Enter “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting” as an excellent option. On top of that, it is a good family-friendly film that everyone can enjoy at home.
In the film a young teenager, Kelly Ferguson, played by Tamara Smart, finds herself in a huge dilemma when the young boy she is caring for is kidnapped by the boogeyman.
She is approached by a secret society of babysitters who are dedicated to fighting monsters and the boogeyman. They all team up to help Kelly rescue the young boy. One of the babysitters, Berna, played by Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, is a genius. Which is good to see because it shows young girls it’s Ok to be a “nerd.”
Without the help of Berna, the group would have a very hard time trying to find the missing boy. We got a chance to talk to Troy about her character and the importance of seeing a young girl of color being a tech genius.
“I think now for there to be a film that’s about women supporting each other, a diverse group of women. I think that’s really important for young girls to see. Especially women of color who are intelligent and they’re not stereotypes,” says Johnson.
The babysitter’s society is mostly young girls and one boy and each one of them has a different strength. Kids watching this movie will get to see these kids from different backgrounds and different interests come together to help a person in need. The lure to watch of course is that it’s basically a scary movie, but there are also a lot of lessons that can be learned.
“A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting” is streaming now on Netflix.
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