Tsadakeeyah Ben Emmanuel has been a vegan for 28 years, and a self-taught vegan chef for 20. His passion for cooking began by watching his father cook for his 16 children. He turned his passion into a profession at Soul Vegetarian Restaurant in Atlanta and Chicago where he was the Executive Chef for 7 years. While leading Soul Vegetarian Atlanta, the restaurant was named Best Vegetarian Restaurant by the Atlanta Journal & Constitution.
Chef Tsadakeeyah became a culinary entrepreneur since 1997, when he started his own catering company and meal delivery service. In 2000 he opened his first restaurant, Vegetarian Gourmet, which served the Mount Greenwood and broader Chicago community for 3 years. Subsequently, he opened and was the executive chef for Karyn’s Cooked for 1 year.
Chef Tsadakeeyah prepared vegan lunches for Kwame Nkrumah Academy during the 2008/2009 academic year, proving that elementary school kids will eat healthy (and delicious) food, and he is preparing to launch a vegan food service program geared for institutions.
He is currently the managing partner for Majani Catering, a vegan catering company that focuses on local & organic produce including many local black farmers. Majani is an upscale, African-inspired, world vegan restaurant coming soon to South Shore which is committed to recycling, renewable energy, and sustainability and is scheduled to open in 2013. He champions the use of organic and local food products and is working with the Black Oaks Center in Pembroke, Illinois to utilize the produce of local African American farmers and to promote sustainability. He recently designed and built an outdoor kitchen using many recycled materials at the Black Oaks Center.
Chef Tsadakeeyah was a founding member of the Bronzeville Community Garden which received Mayor Daley’s GreenWorks Award for “Community Leadership”. Bronzeville Garden has 12 raised beds which serves the local community free fresh produce. He built an outdoor kitchen in the center of the garden which serves as a vital instrument to distribute healthy cuisine and teach local residents how to prepare & grow fresh produce.
Tsadakeeyah has been an advisor for Bronzeville Fresh Produce, which will work closely with the Bronzeville community to bring fresh and local produce.
Chef Tsadakeeyah has been featured in Vegetarian Times, the leading magazine serving the U.S. vegetarian community.
Chef Tsadakeeyah resides on Chicago’s South Side. He is a proud father and new grandfather. He is currently teaching healthy eating classes at Reavis Elementary School and working on Majani Cares Foundation, a 501C-3 that will focus on a cooking school and broad range of health care issues. He is also working on a cookbook and TV show that will compliment his work at Majani Catering & Majani Restaurant.
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