Chef G. Garvin has been turning up the heat on his appropriately titled TV One television show, “Turn Up the Heat,” since 2004. In 2006, he released his first cookbook “Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin.”
The following year, Garvin premiered a second series on the network called G. Garvin: The Road Tour” and launched his Los Angeles-based restaurant development and management company. Garvin had definitely worn more hats than just a chef’s hat.
This year, Garvin has doubled up on his cookbooks. He released a second one earlier this year called “Make it Super Simple” and now he’s just released his third, “Dining In.”
“It’s 115 great recipes that the novice or the professional can enjoy,” Garvin described. “This is not food that will bore you. These are dishes that will inspire you to want to eat at home.”
He told EUR’s Lee Bailey that he had always planned to do a cookbook trifecta, but he didn’t know that each book would each have a different inspiration.
“The first book was purely about the show ‘Turn Up the Heat’ and all the recipes that people said, ‘Hey, where can I get the recipe that you made with Patti LaBelle?’ or [dishes we made] on that show. Number two was about the time. People were busier and nobody wanted to make things from scratch and people just wanted to eat quickly so they can make it super simple. There are a lot of dishes that you can do. There’s sort of a combination of ideas that can make it super simple. ‘Dining In’ is just my idea of lets get back to spending time at home.”
“I felt like when I released the second book, life was just scattered,” he continued. “I felt that unemployment was high, the economy was bad, life was just all over the place and I felt like we needed to get back to eating at home and eating together. And the inspiration was ‘Dine In’ will get you back to the dinner table and relearn your family and talk to your family and get back into the days of the old, so that you could move forward into the days of the new.”
Garvin said that the new book means more quality time with your family and friends, not just about sharing a meal. In comparing his collection to other cookbooks out there, Garvin explained that readers get more than just recipes; they get stories and histories, too.
“There are stories in all of my books that talk about who I am and why I create a recipe and why that recipe is important,” he said. “It’s more than just food for me. You have a lot of cookbooks that are purely about food. There’s more to life.”
Additionally, Garvin’s offering have a bit of a conscience. His latest has an underlying social dynamic, too.
“I’m one of those socially conscious people,” Garvin said. “I’m a chef by profession, but I’m fairly concerned about the community and all the things that go on in the community. If you spend time at the dinner table with your family you can prevent some of [negative] issues.”
Another avenue the culinary artist has pursued in line with his social consciousness is a culinary camp for youth.
“The G Garvin Culinary Boot Camp is one that will change lives – again, dealing with my social issues. I don’t know why it weighs so heavily on my heart, but it does,” he said. “The Camp will be introduced in Atlanta on October 30th. Children will come to learn how to do more than just cook – learn the business, the business plan, the entrepreneurship of it, the science, all things culinary arts in the way that careers are provided. I’m very excited about it. These are the kids that don’t have culinary schools, don’t have YMCAs in the neighborhood, and don’t have parents that can provide them with activities that will keep them out of harms way, whether it be from gangs or circumstances.
The camp is fully sponsored by corporations like Ebony Magazine and Anheuser Busch. He plans to have the camps for kids 14-18 who are interested in culinary arts, in metropolitan areas of Atlanta, New York, and DC.
“This is something that we’re hoping will go that turns into the G Garvin School or G Garvin Culinary Academy,” the kitchen star said.
In addition to the books, the shows, the camp, Garvin has also released a line of spices. With all these other ingredients mixed into his cooking career, Garvin has no intention of slowing down.
“What am I gonna do?” he asked. “I can’t rap. I’m not tall enough to play ball.”
For more on G. Garvin, his shows, and products, visit his website at www.chefgarvin.com.