Soul Society 101: What projects are you currently working on?
DR: I am currently working on several projects: D.Arthur’s Lunchbox, healthy food demos, Etiquette Coaching, and catering as normal. My priority at the moment is being a personal chef. This is truly where my passion lies. For me, food is art. Just like painters paint a variety of paintings, dancers do a variety of routines, singers sing a variety of songs, I love making all types of dishes. Being a personal chef affords me the platform to do so. I can be innovative in the kitchen on a weekly basis, create art!
Soul Society 101: Why is it important to use your cooking skills to help others?
DR: Any gift from God should be used to help others. Otherwise, it’s a waste. Food is a universal gift. Everyone gets happy when they see their plate coming. I am grateful God had chosen me to be a supple of such a beautiful gift.
Soul Society 101: How has being a chef helped your eating habits?
DR: Being a chef has helped my eating habits because I have to study what people like, what the trends are, and what to avoid. In knowing this, I am able to make more informed choices about what I will and will not put on my own plate.
Soul Society 101: Who inspired/influenced you start cooking?
DR: I am not certain there was an influence there. Very organically, it is something I have always had an interest in. Cooking has always just fascinated me. However, my mom did a great job at nurturing that interest. As I grew older, I began to pay closer attention to the other amazing cooks in my family. Grandma, aunts, uncles, god -parents, they all can burn!!!
5. Is there a place overseas that you would to live and learn to cook their cuisine?
DR: If I could travel this entire earth, that would be fine by me! However, if I had to choose based on food alone, I would choose Greece. I am obsessed with their flavors and ingredients. I sneak them into any recipe I can.
Black Eyed Pea & Crawfish Salad w/ Honey Lime Vinaigrette
2 - 15oz cans of Black Eyed Peas (drained)
1 lb of Crawfish Tails
1 Tomato (Seeded & Diced)
1/2 Red Pepper (Seeded & Diced)
1 Jalapeño Pepper (Seeded & Diced)
2 Tablespoons of Chopped Green Onions
2 Tablespoons of Chopped Purple Onion
2 Tablespoons of Chopped Parsley
1 Tablespoon of Cajun Seasoning
1/4 Cup of Fresh Lime Juice (avoid pre-squeezed)
2 Tablespoons of Honey
1 Teaspoon of Light Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon of Cumin
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon of Rice Wine Vinegar
1. Combine all Vinaigrette Ingredients and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate.
2. Season Crawfish Tails in Cajun Seasoning. If too large, cut Crawfish Tails in half. Place to the side.
3. Combine all other ingredients gently. Be cautions to not smash the Black Eyed Peas.
4. Add Crawfish Tails to this Mixture.
5. Coat is all with the Chilled Honey Lime Vinaigrette. (Keep refrigerated until ready to serve)
Blackened Green Beans
Fresh French Green Beans
1 Fresno Pepper (Julienne Cut)
1/2 Purple Onion (Julienne Cut)
1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Should be enough water to submerge the Green Beans. Breaking the Green Bean tips is optional.
2. Once at a boil, salt the water liberally then add the Green Beans.
3. Boil the Green Beans for 3-5 minutes or until they turn bright green. Once done, place the Green Beans in an ice bath (Ice & Cold water).
4. Once cool, drain Green Beans thoroughly.
4. In a Cast Iron Skillet, Sautee Onions and Peppers until tender in Olive Oil. Once tender, add the Green Beans and Blackened Seasoning. (If no, cast iron skillet, any sauté pan will due)
5. Saute until Green Beans begin to soften slightly. Avoid cooking too long. The Green Beans should still have a crunch.
6. After cooking, add additional Blackened Seasoning as needed.