Chef Spotlight: Grand Master Chef JoJo
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If you have not heard of Grand Master Chef Jojo, one of Instagram’s newest culinary tour de forces (Instagram: @grandmasterchefjojo), he is someone who you will never forget. If you are not charged by his epic name, his tattoo covered body, or his distinctive gastronomic masterpieces, you are sure to be moved by his enormous heart.
Grand Master Chef Jojo grew up in Detroit, Michigan with his tight-knit Lebanese and Syrian family who first taught him the importance of the household dinner-table experience. His early memories in the kitchen are of cooking classic Mediterranean dishes, like homemade hummus and pita bread, with his grandmother at the age of five. At the age of 8, his family relocated to his current hometown of Palmdale, California to expand their gas station and café business.
It was in his family’s restaurants that Grand Master Chef Jojo got his first taste of professional cooking experience. His roots are grounded as a busboy which led to flipping eggs, and the rest is history. From an early start, Grand Master Chef Jo Jo knew that he was destined for something great; he knew that he was not meant to work a 9-5 job on somebody else’s payroll. Ultimately, his early experiences in the kitchen are what led him to develop his signature “Healthy Rustic Gourmet” style of cooking.
“Food to me is like art,” he says, “so I always wanted to experiment and do more.”
Through his work, experimenting and “doing more” is exactly what Grand Master Chef Jojo has done. Social media has helped him to build a solid fan base, which led him to land personal chef positions for some of Hip-Hop and Hollywood’s biggest names including Rich Homie Quan, I Am Compton, Richie Rich and the Norvina of Anastasia Beverly Hills. When it comes to his clients, Grandmaster Chef Jojo is known for his big meal customization. He even created Rich Homie Quan a signature hotdog, “The Quan Dog”, which is a bacon wrapped, mozzarella cheese-stuffed hot dog garnished with a yogurt mint sauce, homemade sriracha mayo, radish sprouts, cucumber, tomato, and sweet peppers.
Just as impressively as his clientele, Instagram has also led Grand Master Chef Jojo to acquire a number of sponsorships with companies like Nora Knives, Vestal Watches, Rastaclat, City Fog, Fadavi and Co., and InstaBank Marketing. As you can imagine, cooking for the rich and famous while promoting one’s own brand is beyond a full-time job.“In any type of art field, if you’re not working, you’re still working on your marketing or your advertising,” he explains, “It’s a constant thing.”
In fact, Grand Master Chef Jojo refers to his crew as “Team No Sleep,” and, as you can imagine, this almost sleepless lifestyle has led to the conception of some incredible developments— one of the most recent of which is a YouTube series. The series, which is set to launch by the end of the summer, will take place in a decked-out industrial kitchen and feature his client, Mama Bonnie, who he likens as the ying to his yang, “She’s like Martha Stewart and I’m like Snoop Dog.” Another project in the early phase of development is a children’s non-profit which aims to provide kids with hands-on healthy-eating practices like gardening, cooking, and the overall goal of emphasizing the family dinner table experience.
Even though he has many projects in the pipeline, Grand Master Chef Jojo always prioritizes his family, as he defines himself first and foremost as a father to his three children, Gavin (age 6), auBrielle (age 3) and Aizlynne (age 2). Whenever the opportunity arises, Grand Master Chef Jojo jumps to take his kids along on his professional travels. His son, Gavin, has even started to accompany him as sous chef in the kitchen.Over the last three years, Grand Master Chef Jojo personally underwent a transformation that he hopes to pass on to his children. Though his lifestyle may appear to be mostly glitz, glam and tats, Grand Master Chef Jojo prides himself on a newfound healthy lifestyle. In addition to his nutrient-packed eating practices, Grand Master Chef Jojo commits to a daily exercise routine of cardio, weights, and strength building. He also knows that mental health is just as important as physical health. “People need to remember that things could always be worse,” he explains, “It’s important to catch the blessings of every single day.”
Onlookers are usually surprised by Grand Master Chef Jojo’s inspiring messages of positivity because, at first glance, his neck-to-toe tattoo-covered body gives off a very different impression. “They say I look like a badass,” he says, “but I’m a sweet heart. When you talk to me for 5 minutes, you’ll see where my heart is.” Like the saying goes, you should never judge a book by it’s cover!
At the age of 18, Grandmaster Chef Jojo got his first tattoo, a portrait of his grandfather on his back. Since then, he has consistently added to his corporal display to represent different times in his life; one could even say that Grandmaster Chef Jojo’s tattoos are a roadmap of his personal history and accomplishments, and, with his succession of successes, one can only imagine the incredible endeavors that lie ahead.Grand Master Chef Jo Jo’s actual name is Joseph Saady. He is a father, a friend, a hard worker and a passionate soul who’s has a bigger than life persona and a natural star quality that will definitely take him to the top of the food world. Expect to see him on Top Chef, Chopped and any number of Food Network and Bravo cooking shows because he’s an undiscovered celebrity. You heard it here first. Real Talk!!!
Produce Services of Los Angeles is a proud partner and produce supplier to over 400 restaurants throughout Southern California! We carry a full line of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables along with dairy and dry goods! Not only do we support local farmers and source local produce whenever possible, we support up and coming talent in the food community.