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Conversations with Joel “Chef Jojo” Thomas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chef Jojo.

Hi Joel, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My story may be a little different than most. I started cooking professionally nine years ago. I hold a B.A. in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. While my background was in Graphic Design, becoming a chef became an option when things didn’t work out in that field. My first instinctive thought was to enroll in culinary school. Unfortunately, I wasn’t eligible for grants or financial aid.

Fortunately, I was able to find a mentor (Chef JR Robinson), who trained and helped make me into the chef I am today. In addition to working with my mentor’s company, KitchenCray, I’m also known for my work with Martha’s Table (a non-profit in Washington, DC) and Zion Church, located in Landover, MD. I’ve been blessed with great opportunities that have helped me to evolve into who I am today. In December of 2020, I created an LLC, officially starting my own private chef business.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As a new business owner, it’s been a pretty smooth road so far. I wouldn’t say I’ve had “struggles”. But running a business alone can be challenging at times since it’s just me running everything. But I’m a firm believer of not taking on too many tasks at once! That’s makes life so much easier.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a private chef. So, I specialize in creating amazing experiences for my clients in the comfort of their own homes. These special occasions include birthday parties, anniversary dinners, or cookouts. I also provide private cooking classes for both adults and children. I am most proud of the fact that cooking has led to my purpose in life. I was blessed with a gift that can change people’s lives. I feel it’s important for me to share my gift with others because you never know how much of an impact that can leave on someone.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
At this point, I’m just taking one step at a time. My goal is to grow my private chef business and also mentor young, upcoming chefs who share my passion. I would also like to travel more and cook for clients in other states and countries. I feel that would make me even better. And lastly, giving back to the community is a priority as well. Every year on my birthday, I conduct a give-back where my chef friends and I prepare hot meals for homeless individuals in the Washington, DC area. My plan is to expand and provide that experience for the less fortunate in other areas as well.

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1 Comment

  1. Raymonda L Jones

    July 29, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    I am supa proud of my cousin. God has blessed you on purpose!!

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