We had the good fortune of connecting with Desmond Robinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Desmond, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I actually was never planning to start a business. I just wanted to cook. Initially, I was planning to start a food blog where I was learning recipes as I went along. The goal was to teach myself about culinary arts through exploration and documenting it. I ended up catering one event which begin my journey as a chef and business owner. At the point that I recognized I had a viable business on my hands, my goal was to be as innovative and authentic as possible. I knew that if I continued to make the types of food that I love, present it in a way that’s organic to my presentation style, and offer the type of customer service that is true to my Southern Charm, Id get to where I needed to be.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My goal is to really hone in on my creative side. I think that is what sets me apart. I knew the day I catered my first event, I could not just make regular food. I had to make something that would stand out. I made a Chicken Lasagna Cupcake. That dish and the first day I ever made it publicly still sticks with people. That is the type of food I love to create, dishes that people still remember vividly over a decade later. In addition to making unique dishes, I am currently developing a love for innovative catering displays/presentation. That is what gets me the most excited these days. That feeling of looking at a display and KNOWING YOU KILT IT is unparalleled. It took a-lot to get to this place in my career, however. The biggest challenge was pricing. It takes a-lot of money and resources to pull off a REALLY nice event without duplicating the same thing every weekend. That comes with a higher price-tag that has not always been easy to get clients to pay. I am just now getting to a place in my career, 10 years in, where people expect that they are going to have to pay me well to get the quality and creativity they want. What I want people to know about my brand is that it’s me on a plate. My personality, my art, my character, my exploration, my growth… it’s all me on a plate.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Unfortunately, I do not completely know the answer to this. Pre-COVID, I was traveling so much for work that I never got a real chance to experience New York. Then so much shut down during the pandemic that Im not even sure whats still in business. One of my goals is to explore more so that I can have a better answer to this question. People expect a good answer from me because I am chef and foodie. I guess I spend so much time doing the work that I dont get to enjoy the food scene as much as Id like. I plan to change that and make my bestie tag along, lol Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate this shoutout to my entire village. It has taken a great deal of support from a-lot of people to get me where I am today. People like to say they are self-made these days. While I have certainly had to navigate my journey for myself, I am fully aware of the people I carry with me. This was a group effort so I dedicate this to them.