Roblé Ali has quickly become one of the most recognizable chefs and one of the very few young African-Americans in the culinary world with national notoriety. The dashing and charismatic chef has provided his services to some of today’s most notable individuals including President Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Legend, Jack Nicholson, Michael Jackson and Vanessa Williams, to name a few. In addition to his catering company, Roblé is currently at work on multiple projects, which include an upcoming fragrance, wine, restaurant, book, apparel line and philanthropy. The launch of his business was captured in Bravo’s culinary docudrama, Chef Roblé & Co.
Favorite Cook Book
My favorite cook book is “I’m Just Here For The Food” by Alton Brown. I learned a lot from this book. It’s like a mini cooking school in a very approachable and user friendly book. I’ve recommended this book to many people over the years who showed interest in really learning how to cook.
Every kitchen should have…
A set of quality pots and pans, a good cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife. Those are the things I use most of all.
Earliest food memory…
My grandfather Jesse Harris Sr. was a chef and as a child I remember him making fresh homemade donuts in the morning I would get so excited to eat them and was so impressed that he was able to make this happen in the comfort of his home kitchen.
Moment you knew you wanted to be a chef…
I knew I wanted to be a chef when my mom told me that I should go to culinary school being that I love food and I was always cooking. I was originally supposed to go to regular college but I chickened out and didn’t know what to do. Thank God for Mom.
The one dish you never get tired of…
Tacos, tacos, tacos!!! I love tacos. There are an infinite number of ways and combinations of ingredients you can use to make them great. I’m planning on opening a small taqueria in Brooklyn soon. Be on the lookout for it!
There are so many. Some of my favorites here in NYC are Beauty & Essex by Chef Chris Santos, Red Rooster by Chef Marcus Samuelson and Del Posto by Chef Mario Batali.
Fragrance… why a fragrance?
Well, it wasn’t my idea. Bart Schmidt (a branding agent at Firmenich, a top fragrance house) approached me with the idea a few times and at first I wasn’t sure about it. When I first walked into the Firmench offices, I saw Vera Wang and Tom Ford bottles and I thought to myself, wow, these are top notch fragrances. That’s when I knew these guys were at the top of their craft, so I should feel special about being here. From there, we went into their labs, which is their kitchen, and they started letting me smell things. I was blind identifying almost everything they let me smell and that’s when it clicked in my head. “I should be doing this”. Eighty percent of tasting is smelling. I am good at identifying and mixing different flavors and aromas. It’s my job!. Creating a fragrance and cooking require similar skill sets so for me it was a perfect fit.
Clique by Roblé
Food Porn Apparel…. how did it come about
Food Porn Clothing all started on Instagram. I would post photos of my food with the hashtag #FoodPorn. After a while I noticed that these photos were getting more likes than any other photos I was posting. I had a thought, “I should be putting these photos on T-Shirts”. Now the t-shirts and hats can be found on foodpornclothing.com. We are planning on a retail release in 2015. It’s going great!
Fave party playlist.. fave dj….
My favorite DJ is my DJ and good friend DJ Moma. He spins at all of my events including our monthly brunch and day party “Everyday People”. Here is a link to Vol. 2 of his “Everyday People R&B Part Mix“.
What are your fave summer drinks?