If the name hasn’t already piqued your interest, how about the fact that this is a chef who is legally 100 percent blind in his right eye? Not only did chef Ace Champion successfully overcome a life-changing experience, he blazed a trail all his own along the way. This is a man on a mission, preaching and practicing a healthy food revolution, and he’s taking you on this journey.
The author of “8 Steps to a Perfect Meal,” Champion puts forth concepts such as visualization and presentation in a step-by-step methodical manner through his self-help cookbook, interspersed with stories from his own life. As his inspiration, he attributes the book “The Secret” and applying some of the principles he learned not to just his lifestyle but also his style of instruction.
“I figured if I produced a cookbook then who would know me from the thousands of cookbooks already out there from hundreds of different celebrities. When I did my research, I found that there is nothing out there that specifies the proper cooking equipment that you need or the techniques. With this book, I am on a mission to actually teach people how to cook,” Champion says.
Part of that teaching includes local universities and wineries in Wisconsin, home for more than a decade now for this Louisiana transplant who decided to bring his Cajun-Creole cooking to the land of cheese curds. But that’s not all – Champion has two businesses and about eight different roles he fulfills as an entrepreneur. At Chef Champion LLC, he is a private chef, private and public cooking class instructor, visionary and motivational speaker. At Champions Production LLC, his television show business, he is president, host, writer and executive producer of the “Cook Like A Champion” TV series.
The majority of this entrepreneurial momentum occurred in the last five years, after Champion graduated from culinary arts school, with honors, in 2012. By his own admission, it was the hardest thing he ever did. At age 33, he was not technically savvy and had to take on subjects he knew nothing about. The struggle was real but he persisted.
Upon graduation, Champion began appearing on local television channels but decided to pursue the larger television networks to help grow his show. His website has a running list of all the channels his show airs on locally and globally. As of this interview, he was wrapping up shooting three more episodes for season 3.
And about that life-changing moment – Champion suffered a stroke due to high blood pressure at the age 30 resulting in the loss of vision in his right eye. He calls it his second chance. “Losing my vision was a blow but it was also a blessing. When you lose one of your senses, all your other senses compensate so immediately my hearing, my reflexes, were intensified. It is almost as if my tragedy made me a better chef.”
Champion has taken that experience forward, applying it to his work with the ultimate goal of all his efforts being aimed at getting people to start eating healthy again. Of course, that takes motivation and this chef plans to lead the way with his good food revolution.
Photo credit: Chef Ace Champion
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