Chef Kenny Minor


By Staff

What inspired you to become a chef?

Growing up and watching my grandmother cook is where it started for me. I love how food brought the family together. I was six years old and my grandmother said to me, “Boy if you’re going to be in this kitchen then you going to have to cook”. She sat me down with a brown paper page and gave me some bread and told me to break it up into small pieces, that bread later became the stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey and from there I was hooked on cooking. 

Tell us why you are committed to educating our youth about healthy eating.

Growing up I was an overweight kid, not really active. So I know what it feels like to be alone and looking out at everyone. So I have a heart for kids, and food is a way to teach and educate kids and make them feel seen. And with 1 out 4 children being overweight or obese in the African American community it’s vital that we educate our kids on the benefits of eating well. That is why I created the Eat For Life Kids! program to combat childhood obesity. 

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work to change the lives of our young people?

As a teacher, we don’t always see the fruits of our labor. Ten years ago I was working with the youth at the YMCA in Harlem NY. It was there when I started my community work. Flash ahead years later a lady comes up to me in Harlem at a block party and says, do you remember me, I didn’t recognize her.  She said my daughter was in your healthy kids class at the Y and she’s here. Wow, she was now sixteen and I could still see her face but now a teenager. She said, I still make your smoothies Chef Kenny and your classes were some of my best memories as a kid. Let’s just say, I’m not crying, you are. That’s just one story that has come back to me, and it’s true what they say, if you sow good seed into people it will come back to you. 

Tell us about the perfect platform you need to be most impactful.

Social media in today’s market is vital. However, television has been good to me. I’ve had great opportunities to appear on some great shows like Food Network, and the Tamron Hall Show, and many others. I believe TV. is the perfect platform for me because I just get it. I cook, write content, score music, and understand how to produce segments and shows. Television and streaming platforms have the ability to reach millions and I want to encourage people with one underlying message “A happier healthier life is possible- you are possible!” Imagine a show that actually brought joy to people through food and music. 

What does success look like for you?

I define success as the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal. So, as long as I continue to do what makes my soul happy- helping people live their best life through food and nutrition, and using every gift that God has given me. I am successful. 

What can people do to assist you in your mission?

I’m currently raising capital and angel investors are always great for business. For my next venture, I’m creating a TV network called HHL Network (Happier, Healthier Life Network). I’m very inspired by Mr. Tyler Perry’s success in film and TV production. (HHL Network Food and Culture for People of Color in the 21st Century) Telling Our Own Story Is so powerful for Black Americans. African Americans come from a rich history and a long line of storytellers, chefs, and cultural change agents. The HHL Network’s goal is to highlight these amazing stories through the black gaze. We Are Culture. 


Kenny Minor is a chef, cookbook author, and educator who is passionate about ensuring at-risk communities have access to healthy, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods.

Chef Kenny brings an exuberant punch of personality to everything he does. Often, you can hear Chef Kenny singing as he goes about his day. In all he does, Chef Kenny believes in expanding the definition of “chef” beyond the traditional terms.

Growing up in the Washington D.C. area, everything Kenny learned about good cooking and the spirit of hospitality came from his grandmother. Raised in the south with 9 children to feed, his grandmother firmly believed that food was an indication of hospitality and the way you showed love for family. 

However, when Kenny found himself 85 pounds overweight from overeating to deal with the emotions tied to growing up without a father, he knew something had to change. There came an ah-ha moment (thanks to Michael Keaton) that left him with the resolve not only to change his eating habits, but to change his life.

Kenny enrolled in culinary school to diversify both his knowledge of and ways to prepare food. Through his education, Chef Kenny developed a new, healthier relationship with food. Gone were large meals of fried foods that were the norm for his family gatherings — and soon the weight came off. 

As a private chef and owner of Chef Kenny Catering in New York City, Kenny delights clients with his unique and nutritious cuisine. Kenny reinvents the bold and soulful flavors reminiscent of his childhood. Built on traditional Southern recipes he learned from his grandmother, he accents these recipes with Southwestern and Asian influences.

In 2010, Chef Kenny realized that long-term discussions about the impact of food choices weren’t happening in communities of color. So, he launched the Eat for Life Project. Through this initiative, Chef Kenny works hands-on with community residents to create healthier lifestyles through a balanced diet and form healthy, sustainable habits. The Eat for Life Project has led to collaborations with Whole Foods Market, Emblem Health, YMCA, Phi Beta Sigma, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, and other community organizations committed to fighting childhood obesity. Chef Kenny shares his personal experiences as he demonstrates how anyone can live a richer life through healthy lifestyle practices.

In his latest cookbook, From My Plate To Yours: Lunch Fix, Chef Kenny highlights healthy, easy-to-make meals that won’t break the bank. The cookbook features over 60 recipes focused on increasing energy, fighting food cravings, clearing out frustrations, and improving overall wellness. Each delicious recipe is perfect for life on the go or a plated meal.

Chef Kenny has appeared on The Tamron Hall Show, Food Network’s Chopped, TV One’s Sister Circle, Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, and WJLA’s Good Morning Washington. His food styling has been featured in Hampton’s Magazine Restaurants – The Power List and he was named a Top Chef by Ebony magazine.