By Staff
What inspired you to become a chef?
Growing up in the south, you were either inside or out. I had a Mother and a Grandmother that did not play about coming in and out the house! In Georgia during the spring pollen can be unbearable so I would get stuck in the house way too often. Watching my Mother and Grandmother cook and almost compete for my father’s approval was magical. To this day i still aspire for him to say…“That was pretty good”. So I would have to say family inspired me to be a chef.
How do you stay motivated in such a competitive industry?
Motivation is simple for me, everywhere you look it’s food, foodies, food critics, food shows, food blogs. As a former athlete I love it. I would even venture to say the industry keeps me competitive. I’m constantly honing my skills and learning from the next generation.
What is your favorite dish to make and why?
My favorite dish to make is a simple Italian Dish call Cacio e Pepe with fresh truffles. I love it because it’s technique based. You have to do it the same way every time or the whole dish is off!
Tell us about your efforts to mentor.
Mentoring is my why. I love to coach, motivate, teach, and train. I constantly look to give back with mentorship’s and speaking in front of the youth. I was once a troubled kid with no direction in life just going through the motions. I wish I had someone when I was younger to really talk to me about a life in culinary arts so now I make a point to reach out to the youth and be a positive example.
What does success look like for you?
Success for me is health, wealth, and a legacy. The combination of those three will help me reach across the globe and change lives and give opportunities. That’s what it’s all about for me.
What has been the most difficult thing you have had to overcome?
The most difficult thing for me to overcome was doubt. Whether it was from friends, family, superiors, subordinates or constituents it was always there. People don’t really see your vision or know your why, they really just comment how they feel about whatever your trying to create. After that gauntlet you have to deal with the most difficult of all and that’s self doubt. You began to ask yourself, what if their right. For the longest I fell a victim to that. The most difficult thing to do was ask myself… but what if they are wrong.
Where would you like to see your career in the next five years?
I would love to expand my reach on the youth. Help them create better opportunities. Evolve the industry to where we can start programs for at risk youth. I want to be able to feed the world and learn while doing it. Share my experiences and the tough lessons I learned early. In 5 years I will be the Black Anthony Bourdain, mixed with Thomas Keller, with a sprinkle of Alex Atla. That is my recipe.


Chad Hester – affectionately known as “Sosa” – was born in Augusta, Georgia, where he grew-up in a traditionally Southern household. In his family, food was prepared with love, and those consuming it were not only filled with slow-cooked cuisine, but the feeling of joy was palatable. It is an instinctive, intangible ingredient that Chef Sosa observed by watching his grandmother, mother and sister prepare family meals for occasions large and small – and now, is engrained in him. What at first was a chore to prep the vegetables, became second nature and an instinctive ability to craft soulful dishes – just like the women who taught him.

Soon after graduating from Georgia Southern University, a moment of divine intervention guided him to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts where he graduated Presidents List. His formal education in the kitchen elevated his culinary abilities into an art form, though his family’s influence continued to serve as his unshakeable foundation, explaining “my parents raised us with a motto they called the Five Ps – ‘poor planning prevents proper performance.’ That philosophy continues to guide everything in my life that I set to achieve, especially the dishes that begin as an idea and are later crafted into delicious flavors for others to enjoy.” What at first was a chore to prep the vegetables, became second nature and an instinctive ability to craft soulful dishes – just like the women who taught him.

Chef Sosa is often lauded for his creativity in the kitchen among Georgia’s culinary insiders, as well as his unwavering commitment to the Atlanta community. In November 2020, he with a few other restaurateurs and influential community leaders packaged boxes of fresh fruits, vegetables and other classic Thanksgiving dinner items to support more than 1,000 families for the holiday.

Additionally, he organized a restaurant-industry awards program to uplift the spirits of those working to make it through the impact of the global pandemic.

No matter the moment, Chef Sosa’s connection to others and his instinctive ability to make people smile – regardless if he is preparing food with love or celebrating the hard-work of others – is a gift. Humbly, he says he’s “just a cook” who genuinely loves to make good food, but those who know him celebrate the greater impact he has on the people and community he serves.

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Chad Micah Hester