afropunk feature: chef kpe

January 1, 2014

Meet Chef KPE, one of the youngest executive chefs in NYC. 

by Khalid Livingston



As one of the youngest executive chefs in NYC, do you find that your skills are often overlooked because of your age / experience? 

“Yes, being one of the youngest chefs in NYC can be very challenging.  I’m always challenged when working with cooks that are way older than I. I’ve always wanted this though. It feels good to teach other chefs and cooks my technique, and my way of running a kitchen like a boss. It does get scary at times because you have your workers either doubting your skills or not wanting to listen to a young chef. It’s very important for me to stay humble with this title because it can be easily taken away.”


What kind of food did you grow up on?

“I grew up on all kinds of foods. My mother was the cook in the family, and she prepared just about everything American, Italian, Chinese and Soul Food. Growing up on such a mixing bowl of food inspired me to create my own cuisine called , “International Comfort”. What does International Comfort mean? Well it’s taking that number one meals from around the world, and making a dish out of it with my American spin. This is a meal that makes you feel at home while eating it. A meal that makes you go into a hibernation.”


What artists are on your cooking playlist?

“Music in the kitchen is always a plus to get me to cooking and flipping pans! hahah. I’m a person who loves all genres. My main people to listen to in the kitchen are:  MGMT, SBTRKT, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Empire of the Sun, Sango, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, N.E.R.D, XXYYXX, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane and Three Six Mafia are just a few that gets me amped while cooking.”


Twitter and Instagram : @ChefKPE