Chef Kev might have one of the coolest jobs in Charlotte. He’s a private chef to the city’s stars, meaning he goes to their homes and prepares meals on the regular. When Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis has a special occasion, Kevin gets the call. He’s also had a series of Charlotte Hornets among his clients, from Brendan Haywood, to Lance Stephenson to Nic Batum this year.
Kevin’s specialty is “gourmet comfort food” and his presentation is impeccable. Check him out on Valentine’s Day for a special four-course experience. Details. Here’s how he works.
Chef and owner of Chef Kevin Winston LLC.
How long is your commute?
Depending on where my gig is that day, I could be commuting 10-50 miles per day. I drive an Infiniti FX35 because it has enough room to drive my boys around without me being a minivan dad.
I’m an all-around Apple guy. I use an iPhone 6 Plus. The “plus” just makes it sound special and I like to think I’m special, too.
What computer do you use?
I use a MacBook Pro because it travels easily and I’m always on the go.
What software are you a power user of?
PayPal is the software I couldn’t live without because I have to get paid. I cook because it’s my
passion, but Rihanna said it best, right?
What’s your to-do list manager?
iCal works for me. It’s integrated across all of my products and it’s easy to manage.
What’s your go-to spot for business lunches?
I love Amelies – especially the new Uptown location. It’s perfect for good food, sweet treats and hot beverages. Plus, Uptown is pretty convenient for everyone.
What’s your sleep routine?
Sleep… what’s that?
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Although I’m a master at creative meals for others, I’m pretty basic when cooking for myself. My go-to breakfast is: oatmeal, turkey bacon, egg whites and a smoothie. Dull, but delicious.
What everyday thing are you really good at?
I’m really good at talking to people. Call it networking, call it working a room – I’m just good at natural conversation.
What are your social media habits?
I’m guilty of being that person who checks Facebook before I brush my teeth. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are my favorite platforms for connecting and promoting events.
What’s your one favorite thing about your job?
Food makes people happy. It ignites memories and creates moments for people. People connect over good food and good conversation, and as a chef, I help facilitate that. Making people happy over meals prepared by me makes me happy.
Where do you go to get away from the office?
The gym is my escape from everything and everyone. I can just zone out there.
What’s the last book you read?
“Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. Not just because of the obvious tie to food in the title, but because it’s a practical approach to relationship building.
What’s the last movie you watched?
San Andreas, because Dwayne Johnson is the man.
What do you love most about Charlotte?
The people. Charlotte is a melting pot of backgrounds, cultures and life experiences.
If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing?
I would probably be in the music or the movie industry. I worked for Atlantic Records as a promotions lifestyle representative and assisted in A&R [artists and repertoire]. It was fun, but my passion for food and desire to spend more time with my wife and boys pulled me away.
Best job advice you’ve received
Be consistent and keep God first in everything.