If you tuned in to the first season of Bravo's Chef Roble & Co to experience Roblé Ali get his Brooklyn-based catering business off the ground, you can't miss what he's dishing out in season two, which premiered on June 5. Business is booming (Roblé caters events for a slew of celebrities) and he's charged with keeping his team focused so he can continue to deliver for his clients.
Roblé stopped by the ESSENCE office to chat about his Bravo reality show and participating in this year's ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans July 4th weekend.
ESSENCE.com: What are you most looking forward to at the ESSENCE Festival?
Roblé: I’m looking forward to the music, parties and the food. The food is amazing, and there’s a lot of affordable food that’s easy to find. I love crawfish étouffée and I don’t mind a good gumbo sans okra.
ESSENCE.com: At the ESSENCE Festival, you’re speaking on a panel about love and relationships. What can we expect to hear from you?
Roblé: I am not going to act like I am an expert on relationships. I’ve been in some good ones and a couple of bad ones, and I can certainly talk about them. It’s going to be fun.
ESSENCE.com: Since the Festival is in New Orleans, do you have any favorite restaurants there?
Roblé: There’s a place called Commander's Palace that is very good, but a lot of the food I’ve eaten in New Orleans has been at people’s houses.
ESSENCE.com: How has your Bravo show, Chef Roble & Co, impacted your catering business?
Roblé: It brought more business. I am somebody who gets bored if I do the same thing every day. I’m happy to have the opportunity to not only cater events in New York, but all over the place. The show has brought me new experiences and it keeps work fun. It’s broadened my reach, and that’s a good thing.
ESSENCE.com: Your grandfather was a professional chef. How did he influence you?
Roblé: I grew up watching him cook, and he was the only man I knew who could cook. He taught me that there is nothing wrong with a man who knows how to cook well. I realized that as a kid even before I knew there were professional chefs on television.