We had the good fortune of connecting with Chad Herbert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chad, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had a broader view from day one. I always wanted to own my own business to express my creativity through food and culture. Being able to tell a story with flavors and techniques while crossing other cultures with my cultural background.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
YFC (Young Fresh Cuisine): Caribbean Food Fusion was officially started in the late months of 2020. However, the name was used from as far back as 2008 – 2009. Between myself and two close friends we created the name when we were studying at the Bermuda College in Bermuda. We were just a bunch of friends that loved to cook and decided take on a few small projects. We had great chemistry and saw how people loved our food with the potential for business growth.
As time went on and things changed, I decided to carry on the name and grow my knowledge along with experience to create and solidify the business.
I would always be asked, “What is my specialty?” or “What do I like to cook?” My reply would always be the same, “A bit of everything.” Honestly, I just loved food so much I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I wanted to taste it all, see it all, experience it all, so it didn’t feel comfortable boxing myself into one category. Plus I didn’t want to be like everyone else doing the same thing. Cooking the same staple dishes and trying to re-invent the wheel.
However, I had always found myself reverting back to my Caribbean roots. Some good times in my life filled with flavorful and delicious food. Foods eaten on local holidays, national holidays, family gatherings or any occasion really. Even your everyday household meals were filled with flavours of comfort. I wanted to recreate that for others as well. Something I call a “Ratatouille moment” (yes just like in the movie). Thus Caribbean Food Fusion became my self proclaimed genre of cuisine style.
When the pandemic hit, I was faced with my own challenges just as everyone else in the world. I had to first consider the safety of my family and I’s health, provide for them and still plan for the future.
I felt like I was someone’s toy solider waiting for some to give me orders. Telling me when I could eat, what I could and could do because I didn’t have a choice. So many people were losing their jobs and I should be thankful for still having one at the time, but under their control.
At this point relying on someone else was not an option. It was now or never. I had always wanted to have my own business and run things on my own terms. All the while being creative, loving what I do and sharing that with the world was more than a perfect opportunity dispite the circumstances. So I decided to take that leap of faith and go for it.
As I continue to grow personally and professionally, I have to say my biggest lessons learned (and still learning) is to have faith, patience and a continued will to learn in whatever you set out to do.
Practicing patience was a heavy kick in the ass for sure. I always have ideas for the next dish or step forward but sometimes seems to come along that tells me to slow it a bit for better results in it’s own time.. Learning from ever one around me (the good and what NOT to do) it resonates with me that we always have something new to learn and sharing knowledge is key. Even it the toughest of times, keeping the faith helped me see it through.
Real ones don’t fall off, they fall back, assess the situation and make their next move. The journey is already written for us, it’s the path we decide to take to reach our goals that really matters.
What sets me apart from the competition is that I’m not looking to give you peas and rice and curry something in a white foam container. I’m looking to gain you access into that same or even better upscale experience on white plates that other cultures seem to have control of. Show them that we can have nice things too, but on our terms.
However, as for YFC as a brand it continues to grow and develop. With mainly providing home private chef catering experiences, online personal chef conciliation and an Ig Live show (What’s In Your Fridge?). This is just the beginning. Some future other endeavors include meal preparation, pop up events, broaden services of travel, YFC merchandise, and overall food truck/bistro.
Giving back is also important to me. Giving back to Barbados, Bermuda, the Caribbean on a whole, the Caribbean communities across America, my Alma master, the hospitality industry and so much more. I would love to create a program that highlights the culture and the growth and development of the next generation to come on their path to greater success.
“YFC is a Caribbean food based company with an upscale touch of familiar but unique dishes. We cross cultures with dishes that are flavorful and creative. This provides an experience like no other that is unique to our vision”.- Chef Chad Herbert (YFC)
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For the length of time that I have been in Atlanta there has been so many places that I have discovered and still planning on exploring. However, here are some places that I have found to be more than worth checking out if it’s your first time staying the city. In an itinerary form here is the break down.
“Iron Age Korean Steak House in Duluth” – Friday night
(Open till 2am; Great Kpop video playback while you cook your own food on a Korean BBQ).
“The Battery”- Saturday daytime
(The home of the Atlanta Braves and a lager out door adult playground filled with food and drinks).
“Royal Peacock Lounge”- Saturday night
(High energy club that hits you with sounds of Hip Hop, R&B, Dancehall and Reggae).
“Mangos Caribbean Restaurant”- Saturday Late night
(Keep that full culture experience going with a huge hit of flavors from start to finish; open till 4am).
“The Belt Line” – Sunday daytime
(After you have slept in a bit from your previous packed day, it’s time to have some more fun on Atlanta’s neighborhood connection strip. There a some many restaurants, watering holes, parks, art and fun facts to discover on as you locals and tourists alike enjoy their day).
“Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams”-Sunday
(Cool off with a delicious treat from this well know heat-beating favorite establishment; located just off the Beltline in Korg Street Market).
“Ponce City Market”- Sunday daytime/evening
(Make sure you finish off you day here. With more choices of food and drinks).
“JINYA Ramen Bar”- Monday lunch
(It’s all about the Ramen baby! This is not your college life meal).
“Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe” -Monday evening
(Keep the Asian love going with some beautiful treats and chill time on your hands).
“POKE BURRI”- Tuesday
(This hole-in-the-wall is bursting with crazy good food. The ENTIRE menu is amazing, no Exaggeration!! MUST try the stem bun sampler pack.)
“Stone Mountain”- Tuesday evening
(After your waistline has expanded a bit, time to break even with a hike up the mountain (or you can catch the skylift for a fee if hiking isn’t your thing); the view will be well worth the walking. Tip: Stay for the Sunset, it’s incredible).
“Avalon”- Wenesday day
(Time to elevate and see how the “other half” lives. Luxurious outdoor shopping and eating.)
“Atlas”- Wenesday night
(Now here is where that extra special outfit you bought earlier comes to use, a top tier dinning dining experience; not for basic dinners;)
(Cam Newton’s co owned cigar lounge is where some of Atlanta’s Black Excellence of successful people like to dine, unwind and have a good time; Smart causal; please dress appropriately).
“The Garden Room”- Thursday
(A new discovery and well kept secret, this is an exciting and whimsical location to finish of your night; the cocktails are an experience all their own).
“FLIP Burger Boutique”- Friday early afternoon
(TGIF!!! Good nuts and have a Bison burger with Captain Crunch milkshakes and sweet potato fries).
Littlte 5 Points – Friday
(Lastly, before you head back home finish off your ATL journey in this staple landmark area; just park and walk). The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would have to attribute a portion of my success to these following people Dr. Teneika Eve, Chef Bradley Clease and Margo-Jean Fraser.
Dr. Eve was one of my culinary instructors/mentors that thought me the fundamentals of cooking and pushed me to further my studies in obtaining my Bachelor’s in Hospitality & Business Management at the Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Bradley Clease is the chef that gave me gave me my first real shot in a professional kitchen. At he Harry’s restaurant in Bermuda, he introduced me fine ingredients, taught me how to source their quality and use them to create a touch of finesse to each dish. He also, encouraged me to see beyond my boards and limits for broader horizons to unlock my true potentials.
Jean Fraser (Aunt Jean), is my aunt and the love behind it all. Besides my mom and few other family members, aunt Jean would always have something delicious filling the air of flavors, your plate with a healthy helping and later your stomach well satisfied. She always took care and heavy helping of love into everything she made. Even outside of the kitchen, she does everything with love and is something that resonates with till this day. Ofcourse, once I told her my career in tensions she whole hearted as well encouraged my pursuits.
Facebook: Young Fresh Cuisine
•Contact & Services •Second Professional picture •Coconut Lobster & Curry Breadfruit Chips •Cold Smoked Shrimp | Coconut Curry Rice Noodles | Tricolor Bell Peppers | Cilantro Oil | Toasted Coconut •Rum-Mosa (White Rum | Cherries | Cranberries | Lime | Mint | Soda Water | Toasted Cinnamon) •Money Bags (Caribbean Crab Rangoons) •Infused Pasta | Basil & Garlic Oil •Fun Personal picture •Bread Pudding (Cranberries | White Chocolate | Mint)