At 34 years old, Kelvin Fernandez aka @chefkelvin is one of the top chefs in the world. He made Forbes 30 under 30 list for chefs in 2016, he was named Forbes best chef in America for the past 3 years, he is currently @jlo and @arod personal chef, and he has brand endorsement deals with Infiniti and Wells Fargo.
He's at the pinnacle of the culinary world but his path to the top is more David than Goliath.
He rose to stardom in his early 20s when he beat the iconic Bobby Flay in a cooking battle on Bobby’s own show on the Food Network. Bobby Flay is the Michael Jordan of Chefs. Bobby is one of the most famous chefs in world history and one of the first celebrity food stars. Bobby has starred in over a dozen cooking shows and has restaurants on both the east and west coast of America.
Kelvin is the son of Dominican parents and rose from humble beginnings in Harlem. At the time he went head to head with Bobby, he was barely out of culinary school. To say he was an underdog would be an understatement. He beat Bobby cooking his signature Latin dish, Arepas. The choice was a homage to his Hispanic roots.
After that, he starred in two other food shows on the Food Network (Chopped and Man vs Child). As his fame grew, his brand grew. He is currently a partner in a rum bar in New York called @laslapnyc. Not only is Kelvin a great chef, he's also a great businessman. He negotiated a royalty deal with the restaurant for the sale of his now world-famous Arepas.
Chef Kelvin broke down his journey on episode 55 of @earnyourleisure.
EYL 55 will be out today at 5 pm est.
Article by Rashad Bilal