How do you feel the arts impacted our culture?
Art is everywhere, it is the most complex part of life but yet the simplest thought. Art drives us more now than ever. The instant access to some of the most beautiful creations drives our culture now more than ever. It’s our food, on our clothing, on our phones, in our restaurants and street walls. Art drives the lyrics of our favorite artist and last but not least it influences them. Art doesn’t just impact our culture it is our culture.
What type of contribution do you feel African Americans have made in our society?
The contributions African Americans have had on society are endless. From simple inventions, to age old recipes. The music, combined with cinematography over the last 70 plus years have driven a renaissance in our society today. In 2001 there was one African American billionaire, we now have at least 10. Our contributions are driving the culture of America.
Why did you become a chef?
I come from a family of great cooks. My Grandmother was the Paula Dean of Augusta, my Mother was the Martha Steward of Augusta. Neither ever tried to own a restaurant they just loved to make people swoon when they tasted their food. When my sports dreams failed, I turned IT and hated it. I found myself bored and missing competitive drive and creativity. Becoming a chef gave me purpose and a path to reach back and inspire the youth. Most importantly I became a chef to fulfill a legacy within my family.
Tell us about your training in becoming a chef.
My first training was simple, but I blew it! I was in 5th grade, my mother asked me to pull out a pot roast so it could thaw before she got home. I decided riding my bike and playing basketball was more important. I forgot to pull the pot roast out. I learned a valuable lesson that day. Fast forward to culinary school 5 days a week, 9-5pm for 2years. Everyday pressed and clean. Learning to push my limits physically and mentally only to walk into industry to understand I didn’t know a thing. My training to become a chef hasn’t stopped. Every day is a new lesson. Every day I grow to be a better chef.
Tell us about your favorite dish to create and why.
I love to create from scratch. So sauces and pastas are my thing. I literally obsess over pasta dishes, trying to perfect recipes but also respecting each ingredient is what gives me an insatiable appetite for learning. The science and technique that goes into a puttanesca is incredible, but the Cacio e Pepe is by far my favorite! It’s the timing, the touch, and the technique tell you why a chef’s kiss was invented.
Tell us about your most proud accomplishment.
Becoming a mentor is by far my most proud accomplishment. Telling the youth where and why I went wrong and how cooking saved me. To see in their eyes that I am an inspiration make so proud.
How can we follow you?
Facebook: Chef Sosa
About Chef Sosa
Chef Sosa was born in Augusta, Ga the birthplace of the God Father of Soul James Brown. He actually went to church with James Brown. Augusta is where “food for the soul” is what people gather around for any and every occasion. He is often referred to as a farm to table chef. Although he considers soul food as a necessity, please do not call him a southern chef even if most farms are in the south! Food is different all over the world but what makes food great is the experience of dinning. Mix that with the perfection of service, infused with the purity of the product you are serving and that is what makes him sleep well at night. Although his methods are unorthodox, creativity is what drives Chef Sosa. He love pushing the envelope on what is and what can be, it is how he looks at cooking and life. Traveling and nature are the two necessities needed for Chef Sosa to accept what is, and challenge what can be. He often uses fusion to create dishes inspired by places he has been and things he has eaten there and combine it with his roots, and what he thought of when he first tasted the dish.
Chef Sosa's greatest influences of course are his family and the memories he had traveling with them (good and bad). Something as simple as watching Justin Wilson make gumbo on TV as a child always stood out. Not because of the love for gumbo, at that point he had never had gumbo. It was how passionate he was about how to make it, and that simple catch phrase… “oooo weeee I guarantee” showed that it was delicious.
Chef Sosa spent undergrad at the University of Georgia Southern where he received a degree in Information Systems. He quickly hated that and moved on to study French Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu graduating Presidents List. Later, he learned about German Cuisine from a master chef from Germany, which was rough. Shortly after that, Chef Sosa became a student to an Italian chef, he was crazy and uber passionate about the details but taught him that it’s the people that work for you that will keep you going not the passion.
Chef Sosa has traveled to nine Four Seasons. He atehis way through five different countries with over 20 more left on the bucket list. In fact, over the last 15 years Chef Sosa has rubbed shoulders with some of the greatest names in culinary like Thomas Keller, Alex Atla, and Wolfgang Puck that have inspired him to push the limits of what each ingredient can do.
Chef Sosa is bold, loud and goal driven. He is the definition of passion mixed with dependability.