Chef Carter Serves up Delicious Style
Happy Black History Month everybody!! During this 28 day period, we are celebrating Black Excellence with pieces by and about Black people. We are excited to kick off our programing with an interview by Cee Sando with Chef Carter.
By Guest Writer Cee Sando
I have been a fan of Chef Maria Carter’s fashion sense from the moment I saw her. We met at a mutual friend’s birthday party and in a sea of well dressed “cool kids” she immediately caught my eye. It was a casual pool party so I hadn’t put much thought into what I was wearing, but as soon as I caught sight of Maria in her multi-colored patterned fit that somehow matched her sports bra and trunks perfectly, I suddenly felt completely underdressed.
My admiration grew when I learned she was a chef. And admiration turned to awe when I finally sampled one of her creations. The way Chef Carter approaches food is the same way an artist approaches a canvas. As someone used to cooking for themselves and creating simple straight-forward meals, from the first taste of her cooking, food was suddenly reintroduced to me as an art form. I am allergic to nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and gluten, plus have a plant-based diet... so the fact that she was able to not only create something I could eat, but a delicious meal with a phenomenal presentation is no easy feat!
I have yet to encounter anyone else who expresses masculinity and femininity concurrently with such finesse. Or anyone with more passion for creepers. Or anyone who can pull off floral print paired with cannabis leaf print so delicately. But instead of me waxing poetic about Chef Carter’s style choices, I’ll let you hear it from the source...
So Chef Carter, why food?
Food makes people happy. When people eat something that tastes good, that’s good for them their spirit changes. I enjoy seeing people’s reactions to the food I make and of course getting compliments.
What do you love most about being a chef?
Being creative and challenging myself is my favorite part about what I do. I don’t have a specific thing I Iike to make - it’s the experimentation and making new dishes that I like best. Being in a fast paced environment inspires me to make daring choices and put new combinations together.
Describe your personal style
My style is all over the place so it really depends on the occasion and event. In the daytime I love wearing all white, at night I’m all about rocking leather and on Sunday’s I love to dress up. I dress in themes. If I’m going to a picnic I want to wear a button up shirt, a bowtie and slacks. If I’m going to a club I like to wear dark colors, boots, leather, long shirts and long jackets.
What inspires your style choices?
There are certain people who’s style I admire and like pulling piece inspiration from. I love the way Jidenna dresses when he is in suits and button ups, hats and suspenders. I look to his taste when it comes to more dressy occasions. For more chill wear I look at Migos. I really like how they put pieces together. I love hunting for the perfect vintage piece. The 90’s really informed my sense of style and I still love pieces that were really popular in the 90s. That is definitely coming back around now so I’m not sure that my style can really be called 90s anymore.
What is the one fashion trend you wish would just die?
I just don’t understand flared jeans.
What is the one fashion item you cannot live without?
My hats. I wear hats at work, I wear a hat with pretty much every look. That is the one accessory that usually completes an outfit for me.
What is coming up for you in 2018?
Right now I am working on a mobile Philly Cheesesteak company in LA. Philly Cheesesteak Bois carts will be stationed outside concert venues, nightclubs, and sporting events. You can expect quality Philly-style cheesesteaks from a chef who is actually from Philadelphia! I am even having authentic hoagie bread shipped directly from Philly to LA. And yes there will be a vegan Cheesesteak! Also, I am launching a YouTube page for my new cooking show “From the Club to the Kitchen”. The show will showcase quick and easy late night munchie meals. Plus, up and coming artists will perform and help me put the meals together.
Cee Sando is a wardrobe stylist and style expert specializing in queer/ androgynous looks. Inspired by travel, the ocean, tea, sashimi, and an effortlessly yet perfectly put together outfit, Cee has a keen eye for design, attention to detail and a passion for style. Cee has dressed actors for the Golden Globes, Oscars and Emmys and Golden Globes. She has also worked with brands such as Beats by Dre, Hyundai, LG JustFab, ShoeDazzle, and Sanctuary Clothing. find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat @ceesando.
Model: Maria Carter
Photographer: Brian Hart
Stylist: Madison Cashman
Assistant: Eric Bell