Chef Chew went from aspiring to be a track athlete to sharing God’s goodness with individuals who frequent his Oakland, CA restaurant, VegHub. Chef Chew uses his talents for God. We each have talents God gave us for His work. Chef Chew shares his story of why he chooses to be a steward of his God-given talents.
Chef Chew was adopted into a family by the name of Chew. He got his love of cooking and food from his family. When he was in 12th grade, he was a track athlete and he had received a college scholarship in track. After he signed the scholarship, he broke his leg in a race. The Holy Spirit used that event to change the direction of his life.
“The Holy Spirit began to let me know that He had a different calling—a different race that He wanted me to run. And eventually, within a year-and-a-half, I literally became a missionary. I realized I had a gift in cooking, and so I called myself Chef Chew. I like to say ‘I always say gonna give you something to chew on.’”
“I’ve been able to see God use my gifts, my talents, and allow me to use it for His service and we’re praying that through this we can lead many souls to an understanding of our Savior Jesus Christ. I’m a steward because God is the best business partner you can ever have.”
I was actually adopted when I was three weeks old into an amazing family. I was actually a country boy. I grew up in Southern Maryland. And this environment was hard-working people and taught me work ethic. And you know we loved to eat. Got my love of cooking and love of food at that time.
My mother’s side of the family was actually Seventh-day Adventist. When I was in about third grade I started going to church. To the Seventh-day Adventist Church. And me being a heavy meat eater. On my mother’s side of the family was actually a vegetarian. So, I got exposed to eating healthy and you know these Adventist values of keeping the Sabbath. That was pretty amazing.
From there when I actually came to be in 12th grade I actually was a track runner. I got a full scholarship to run track. Right after I signed my scholarship–I knew about the Sabbath–and my leg actually broke in a race. This was a life-changing event for me. By breaking my leg actually the Holy Spirit beginning to speak to me and I decided to give up a full scholarship. School was paid for. I decided to give up a scholarship. The Holy Spirit began to let me know that he had a different calling–a different race that he wanted me to run.
And eventually within a year and a half I really became a missionary. And my name Chew, again I was adopted his family by the name of the Chew, I realized I had a gift in cooking, and so I called myself Chef Chew. As I like to say, “I always say gonna give you something to chew on.”
I began at that time, in like 2002-2003, developing my first food products. We had something called Crunchy Bunch of Granola. We say, “we don’t box but we have a granola that will knock you out!” And we actually make a plant protein. It looks like chicken. It tastes like chicken. But guess what? It ain’t chicken. It’s crispy on the outside and it’s white in the middle. Oh it’s delicious and it’s gonna be hopefully one day in the stores near you soon.
This model of selling food to our community became like inroads, an entering wedge, to be able to reach our community. We recognize that using food as a tool to be able to win a friendship was actually more effective way than just asking someone for Bible study. And so we use this food as a way to make friends to be able to build relationships. And this became my life work. Became the calling of bridging food into an actual ministry.
And eventually in 2008 I started my first restaurant called Eating to Live. It was an amazing opportunity. I did it in my hometown in Southern Maryland. A community that was heavy meat eaters and hey I am starting a vegan restaurant.
We’re starting a church plant in the City of Oakland utilizing again a restaurant as a means to build relationships in the community. Now we’re finding that people love healthy food and we’re living in a time people are wanting to go plant-based. They wanted to eat healthier. We’ve never seen such a surge of people wanting to transform their lifestyles. And so we’re actually providing the solution. We do cooking classes for our community. We’re actually just mentoring youth showing them better ways of living, better ways of eating, and also just being a friend. And right now we are actually in the process and Bible studies with people in the community.
It is amazing to see what God can do to use your gifts and your talents to reach souls. I’ve been able to see God use my gifts my talents and allow me to use it for His service. And we’re praying that through this we can lead many souls to an understanding of our Savior Jesus Christ.
So, I’m a steward because God is the best business partner you can ever have.