Christopher Kyler, CEO/Chef Personality
According to Chris, food has always been his first love. Learning the basic methods of cooking that his mother taught him as a child and eagerly learning cooking techniques in his home economics class in high school, he quickly caught on. Chef Chris joined the U. S. Navy after high school where his skills and talents were enhanced. He attended a culinary specialist school at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. There, he learned the fundamentals of cooking, recipe conversion, how to produce mass quantities of food and different methods of cooking. He advanced to the fleet where he participated in cooking for several large-scale food service events for up to 5000 sailors daily. With his remarkable potential, he was quickly recommended to cook for the Commanding Officer of the USS Harry S. Truman. Chef Chris’ reputation spoke for itself in the Navy as well as performing the job of a Senior Petty Officer. His efforts and culinary skills resulted in the command receiving glowing accolades from President Bush (Senior), ADM Rutherford, RADM Stuffelbeam and Bruce Willis, just to name a few.
After his military career, Chef Chris started working in chain restaurants. In an attempt to increase his earnings he tried the corporate world and quickly realized it was ultimately unfulfilling. In 2005 Chef Chris was asked to cater a 50th birthday party for his pastor, Bishop Eugene Reeves of New Life Anointed Ministries International. He delightfully accepted and, with help from family members who loaned him everything from chafing dishes to basic equipment, he was able to cater the event, which was a complete success! The guests raved about the food and service and many asked for business cards. Chef Chris exclaimed, “Business Cards?! I didn’t even have a name for this thing!” It wasn’t until Chef Chris was handed his first check at end of the event when that he got, what Oprah would call, an “Ah Ha Moment.” He thought to himself “You mean to tell me people will pay me to do something I love, and that I would gladly do for free?!” With this new perspective, he put all of his trust in God and launched his first catering firm, which he titled, Kyler's A+ Catering. He describes this as “a coming home to his first love.” His quest for creative freedom began. Chef Chris envisioned the future of his business, wrote his vision down and then began to pursue his endeavor to see that vision manifested. Chef Chris envisioned mobile kitchen units servicing the DC Metro area with state-of-the-art appliances, capable of feeding customers delicious gourmet cuisine without compromising freshness, quality or integrity. This would make his business a "cut-above the rest" of the catering competition in the area and create his own niche of “gourmet mobile catering”.
In 2009, Chef Chris along with partner and spouse, Kisha Kyler, decided to expand the business into a mobile catering company. This was a huge success and a hit with customers in the Metro area. In an attempt to grow from a small sized caterer to a large-sized caterer, Chef Chris attended Stratford University where he studied to obtain a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management. This caused all aspects of the business to become more professional and efficient. Through a required internship Chef Chris was employed as a sous chef at Windows Catering for 4 years (one of the DC Metro area’s premier caterers, and ranked top 25 Caterers in the U.S.). It would be here, that his skills, talent, and culinary knowledge were refined, sharpened, and expanded. Working under renowned, Executive Chef Pasquale Ingenito, Chef Chris learned molecular gastronomy; sous vide cooking, and a more innovative way of presenting gourmet and international cuisine. All of which has revolutionized his method, style and approach of cooking fine foods.
Chef Kyler's Company, Kyler’s A+ Catering has since catered for notable celebrities such as Sisqo, Jennifer Lewis, and has done spectacular events from Weddings, Corporate parties to Religious Events and Plated Dinners. With Chef Kyler’s A+ staff by his side, and his unique gift for presentation and growing knowledge of international cuisine, he continues to uphold the reputation of being an A+ Caterer Extraordinaire.
In an attempt to step into the entertainment spotlight and take his culinary career to the next level, Chef Kyler decided to try out for the Hit TV series, Hell’s Kitchen. Kyler quotes, “I have so much respect for Chef Gordon Ramsay, some people are against his style, but I totally get him! In order to achieve perfection, one has to demand nothing less, than one’s best!” With this mentality, Chef Kyler was willing and eager to put his reputation on the line to achieve such knowledge. Chef Kyler made it all the way through the casting process, but did not get the “final call” to go to Los Angeles where the show would be taped. Chef Kyler quotes, “I was very disappointed that I did not make the show, which has been one of my goals since the inception of the Hell’s Kitchen TV series.” Two weeks later, Chef Kyler got a call from Food Network for an opportunity to compete on a new series called, Cutthroat Kitchen, hosted by renowned Chef/personality Alton Brown. Chef Kyler jumped at the opportunity, he states, “This is the perfect opportunity to showcase to the world my abilities in the kitchen and find out where I measure up in the culinary competition industry.” Chef Kyler was flown to Los Angeles where he competed and came out as the champion on his episode. With a new found confidence and affirmation of his talents and skills, Chef Kyler was eager to set his sights on bigger competitions.
Chef Kyler traveled to New York to audition for a very popular TV show on the Food Network called, Food Network Star. He thought that this was the perfect platform to showcase, not only his culinary skills all the more, but to also display his entertaining talent that he has been known for most of his life. He states “My family, friends, co-workers and pretty much anyone I have met, has told me that I am a character -- hilarious, a natural comedian, very energetic, full of charisma and very entertaining.” Going into the audition, he decided to put it all on the line and showcase what he calls a “go BIG or go home performance,” which landed him a spot as one of the 12 finalist on the Food Network Star Season 10. Season 10 is due to air this summer on Sundays at 9/8c pm starting on June 1, 2014. This competition gives 1 of the 12 hopefuls the chance at owning their own show on the Food Network!
To Be Continued . . .