Black celebrity chef offers tastes from the lives of the rich and famous
Erick Johnson | 4/10/2014, 9 a.m.
So this is how the other half eats.
In an elegant dining room, a four-course dinner was about to be served. It started with heirloom tomato and a caprese salad that featured watermelons soaked in a apple cider, vinaigrette, honey and mint.
It was simply divine.
Then came the Mutton snapper, sweet rice with grits all coated with a delicious saffron vanilla sauce.
But the third course took the meal to a whole new level. Tender, flavorful seared scallops, accented by parsnip puree, sweet pea apple compote were simply heavenly.
The culinary journey ended with succulent chocolate toffee bread pudding en croute with Kahlua mousse with chocolate herb sauce.
If this was a food review, this exquisite four-course meal would receive five stars.
But this is how private chef Richard Ingraham feeds his celebrity client Miami Heat basketball star Dwyane Wade and his girlfriend, Hollywood actress Gabrielle Union. For 11 years, Ingraham has worked hard to please Wade who is known as a tough food critic very particular about what he eats. Serving the athlete three to five meals a day, Ingraham's challenge has forced him to step up his game to keep the star point guard happy, healthy and fit to deliver spectacular dunks against opponents.
"Chef Ingraham has been my personal chef since 2005," Wade said on the chef's website. "Being a picky-eater, Chef knows how to incorporate the healthiest foods that will provide me the strength and energy needed when I hit the basketball court. His personal touch to meals and diversity in cooking has made him by far the best chef - and only chef - that I've had!"
Ingraham spends most of his time criss-crossing the country with his client to serve some of the most sophisticated and healthy meals. But while Wade stayed home March 28 recovering from an injured knee as his team pummeled the Detroit Pistons on the road, Ingraham took a break from his schedule. He gave ordinary folks a sneak peek into the world of the rich and famous with over-the-top dishes presented in artistic fashion at Johnson and Wales University in North Miami.
His visit was part of the school's Distinguished Visiting Chef series, an ongoing program that draws high profile chefs who work with students to present award winning dishes to working professionals, community residents and dining enthusiast. Students gain valuable insight and knowledge on the culinary profession as part of the program.
Johnson and Wales' culinary arts school, which is celebrating its 100 anniversary this year, is attracting a high number of Black and Caribbean student chefs who are cooking up careers plans similar to Ingraham's. That evening, the school's top student, Derryann Adams was awarded the program's namesake $2,000 scholarship award for having the highest grade point average in her class.
Ingraham's longtime friend, Terrence Williams, private chef for Miami Heat star Chris Bosh, also attended to help prepare the dishes
In the kitchen, Ingraham and the students mixed signature sauces and ingredients in a massive classroom kitchen with viewing windows which allowed guests to capture all the action with their smart phones and cameras.