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Black Men Speak Podcast

Aug 20, 2022

Chef Donald J. Smith was born and raised in New Orleans, the heart and soul of Creole and Cajun culture. It was there that he learned the ins and outs of authentic Creole Cuisine at the feet of his mother and uncle. Known in culinary circles as “Chef D,” the chef specializes in Creole, Cajun, and soul food. Chef D has owned several restaurants. His portfolio boasts preparing meals for various entities, including conventions, corporations, celebs like Barry Bonds, The O’ Jays, The Clark Sisters, and Miguel, and feeding the homeless and less fortunate. 

The New Orleans native is a natural-born, innovative chef.  Chef Donald has traveled the world and interacted with other first-rate chefs worldwide; he has had the rare opportunity to share his expertise and passion for good food with other chefs from countries like Brazil, Italy, and Spain. To enhance and broaden his knowledge and skills of Creole Cuisine and add a little professional twist to things, he attended Louisiana Vo-Tech and Delgado Community College, where he earned many Culinary Arts certificates. Through his company, Chef D Services, not only does he mix his own spices, for his spice line Yes Chef Gourmet Spices and Foods, but he has also written cookbooks, Donald Lukie Smith New Orleans Underground Chef (2020) and most recently, The Underground Chefs, for which he was the visionary author. 

Chef Donald now has 20-plus years of experience in culinary cuisine preparation under his belt and has received many awards, including “Gumbo” competitions, and accolades. In 2018, he was voted one of Louisiana’s best chefs, and in 2020, he received the Culinary Excellence Award from the National Black Chef Association.  Last summer, Chef D was also named Culinary Ambassador for Louisiana for the National Black Chef Association.