In addition to performances from, and conversations with, some of the biggest names in music, fashion, film, television, politics, beauty and business, ESSENCE Festival also brings together some of the most talented chefs in the country!
Celebrity Chef Jernard Wells has a story that will inspire you beyond belief and a culinary skill set that will leave you hungry for more. A proud husband and father of nine, Chef Wells has traveled around the world to learn the tricks and trades of preparing cuisines from a variety of different cultures, ultimately developing his own signature style of infusing any dish with southern flavor and a healthy Cajun twist.
With a resume that includes a stint as the tour chef for Tyler Perry & the cast of his hit stage play, “Madea’s Happy Family,” 4 bestselling cookbooks and a relationship book, and opening an Asian restaurant, East Wave Asian Fusion, in downtown Atlanta, Chef Wells has solidified himself as a name synonymous with dishes that will leave any palette satisfied.
Check out his original recipe for Southern Modified Shrimp Cilantro Pasta below and then be sure to stop by the ESSENCE Eats stage in the Convention Center during ESSENCE Festival weekend to see Chef Wells live in action and sample more of his signature dishes.
Southern Modified Shrimp Cilantro Pasta
1 Cup of Fresh Spinach
1/4 Cup of Le’ Chef Amours Haute Cuisne BBQ Sauce
1 pound penne, Rotini, or preferred pasta
1 pound of Medium Shrimp
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 bunch cilantro Minced
1 Tomato Diced
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
In large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to boil Add Spinach and boil until tender about 5 Minutes
Using a slotted spoon, remove from pot. Set aside.
To the same pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and boil pasta for 7 Minutes or recommended cook time as instructed on packaging; al dente.
Remove from pot and set aside.
In a separate skillet, pour Barbecue sauce in bottom of pan to coat.
Add diced tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Sautee over medium-high heat 3 Minutes.
While sauce cooks, add Pasta & spinach Sautee together, then add shrimp.
Sautee for 4 minutes.
Plate and serve.