Courtney was born and raised in Midway, a community in Sanford, Florida. His business is also located in Sanford and he serves the Central Florida area. He is self-taught, loves to experiment and try new recipes.
What inspired you to become a chef?
I really wouldn’t call myself a chef, I didn’t have formal training. I would say I’m a culinary enthusiast, but to answer your question I’ve loved cooking from looking at my grandma in the kitchen. I took that love to the United States Army where I was an Food Service specialist for four years and being stationed overseas I learned about different cultures and flavors.
Describe your food in three words?
Ready to eat.
What is your favorite cuisine to cook?
Anything southern with a flare.
What role do you think social media plays in food today?
Social media helps, because people eat with their eyes and to me presentation is everything, but that’s after you master the flavor.
What does your business do to keep your menu new and exciting?
I ask what my clients would want and I do my research on how to prepare to match and exceed their expectations. Also, back to the social media question clients sometimes want the same meal I’ve prepared before.
If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Chicken, steak and Haitian Black Mushroom Rice (Diri Djon Djon).
What album had the biggest impact on you as a teenager?
Michael Jackson Thriller.
What is something you like to do that people would be surprised to know about you?
I love to research and learn new things be it recipes, people or different methodologies which applies to changing people’s perceptions.
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Visit a third world country to see how they live.
What is one thing you were afraid to do, but felt amazing after you accomplished it?
Went to college and gained not one, but three degrees. Associates, Bachelors and Masters.
If you could go back to one historical event to witness it, what would it be and why?
March on Washington, I want to see the togetherness and how it sparked the nation for change.
How can everyone keep in contact with you on social media?
On Instagram Bigcountryskitchen. In 2021 I’ll do a Facebook page, as now cooking is just my hobby that I love.