Hello, We Empower Magazine readers, I am Cordell Robinson aka Cordell The Culinary Diva. I have been cooking since I was 7 years old. I grew up in a household of six kids and my mom worked two sometimes three jobs. She did not have time to cook all the time so we would have peanut butter & Jelly, Spam, or some other kind of quick meal. I began to watch my aunts and great aunt cook and I started to mimic what they were doing in the kitchen. I asked questions out of curiosity and I knew I had a love for food. I started with very basic dishes like baked chicken wings and seasoned some canned vegetables. As I got older I started doing more complex cooking. I made fried rice, egg rolls, meatloaf, spaghetti, and many other things.
At that time we did not have the internet to depend on for recipes so I went by taste. My brothers and sister seemed very pleased with my cooking. When I moved in with my father, my stepmom cooked just about every day and I would watch her technique and style. I did not cook much there but when I had the chance I would. Later in college, I cooked for my friends in exchange for them to buy the groceries because I could not afford the food, I really began to sharpen my skills.
After college, I went into the US Navy and my first duty station was Diego Garcia. I got together with friends and we would use a one burner or cooking put to make meals. It was very challenging but it helped me have the ability to be able to cook in any kitchen. When I got stationed in Spain, it was a great opportunity to taste very unique foods and try their style of food. The first dish I made was a Paella. It was very difficult as I had no idea what I was doing but once I did it a couple of times it because super easy and I enjoyed the process and what I call the labor of love.
When I left the Navy I would find every opportunity I could to cook for people. I would get creative with dishes, go out to restaurants and explore different cuisines to expand my palate more. In my last home, my kitchen was very small but I would have dinner parties for 50+people and would have to cook in stages to get it all dine-in time. I enjoyed that time creating dishes and more importantly, my guests enjoying my food. I like to take people on a food journey to experience cuisines from all over the world. I am of Jamaican descent so I do make a Jamaican-inspired dish at least every other week. Cooking is a passion of mine and I like to share that passion with everyone. I the past few years I have been cooking for celebrities and corporations.
Most recently I cook for Aston Martin Bentley, Dolce & Gabbana, The President of Zanzibar, Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown, Pleasure P, Jermaine Dupri, and Debra Antney. I was recently invited to cook for the Andaz Hotel in Guanacaste Costa Rica for a lifestyle brand Ambassador opportunity. I have cooked all over the world, Diego Garcia, Rota Spain, Sicily Italy, Crete Greece, London UK, Toronto Canada, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Paris France.
Keep up-to-date by connecting on Instagram @cordelltheculinarydiva
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.