In honor of Black History Month the “Celebrating Our People” series will be showcasing a few of Proof of the Pudding’s talented Black American chefs and managers and their contribution to the culinary industry. We are dedicated to sharing their personal journeys through the world of food. Join us in celebrating the outstanding contributions of these black hospitality and culinary POPstars!
CHARLES “CHUCK” LOCKETT
Senior Sous Chef, Georgia Tech University
POP: Thanks so much for the chatting with us Chef! Let’s start with, what adversities have you faced during your career in hospitality?
CHUCK: Some of the adversities I have faced in my career as a chef have not always been from my superiors (so to say) but my co-workers because I am a light-skinned black man (seriously). Because of the race issues of today, I was always made to feel like my progress in whatever area I’m in in the kitchen was due to my fair skin, and having this said to me once or twice made it kind of an awkward thing to deal with in some settings.
POP: How did these adversities affect your career?
CHUCK: These adversities I think affected the way I deal with certain co-workers and my staff almost every day. You have to be a wordsmith these days in the industry and a use of tact is a must in these times.
POP: What has been your motivation for staying in the industry?
CHUCK: My motivation for staying in this industry of course is my love of food and serving the public.
POP: How long have you been with POP?
CHUCK: Three years.
POP: What is your favorite dish to cook at home?
CHUCK: I’m pretty simple when it comes to cooking for myself, I’m a big sandwich guy. But I make a mean lasagna.
POP: When eating out what is your favorite restaurant?
CHUCK: My favorite place to eat in the ATL is Herold’s Chicken, Fish and Ice Bar is always fresh and hot and super consistent.
POP: Who or what inspired you to become a chef?
CHUCK: My great grandmother, she was awesome cook I would watch her for hours and hours on a time she was an amazing cook.,
POP: What dish or ingredient best represents you and your culture?
CHUCK: Corned Beef and Cabbage. Here”s the recipe!
Braise cured brisket with cabbage
Place corned beef in Dutch oven or crock pot and cover with water bring to a boil
Reduce and simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender
Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook till ALMOST tender
Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes
Remove meat and let it rest 15 minutes
Place veggies in a bowl and cover
Add as much broth as you want
Slice meat across the grain…and EAT!