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You Are Worthy of Good Food: Nourishing Your Body and Soul with Chef Kenny Minor (Episode #132)

Chef Kenny Minor will make you hungry for both food and the joyful culture that can be built around cooking and eating. You will love this conversation for the sense of fun that it brings up from your past and the possibilities it brings to the meals you can enjoy with others in the future! Chef Kenny was named Top Chef by Ebony Magazine for his fresh ideas about eating and cooking, as well as the exuberant punch of personality he brings to everything he does.  

Episode Highlights

About Our Guest:

Chef Kenny Minor brings the culture around cooking and eating to the forefront for us, and reminds us how precious that aspect of eating can be. 

In this conversation with Dr. Lynda, Chef Kenny dives deep into the myth that we have to shame ourselves for eating well. Then, he helps us recognize that if we associate certain aspects of food with great moments and cultural comforts in our lives, we can create those same food profiles (tastes and textures) with methods that have a healthier twist.

Turns out, if we get creative with ingredients and cooking methods, we can still eat our comfort foods and favorites from good times without guilt. 

He was asked to appear on The Tamron Hall Show and the Food Network’s Chopped as much for his expertise with cooking as for his passionate, delightful storytelling skills. 

Chef Kenny was raised in the south with a grandmother who had 9 children to feed, and she firmly believed that food was an indication of hospitality and the way you showed love for family. To that point, Chef Kenny tells story after story that reminds us all of the sense of belonging, validation, good humor, safety, abundance, mentorship and ingenuity that can be found in cooking and eating together. 

His message in a nutshell? He says simply, “There are no bad foods, only some foods with less life in them.” 

And, if you stop to think about that statement, that’s a darn good way of thinking about when, how, and what we consume. Sure, a quick bag of chips might satisfy a moment, but we are what we eat, and we can create meals and moments worth savoring (both the food and the company.) 

When Chef Kenny says “foods with life in them,” he means all the wonderful aspects of life that can be consciously built into preparing and enjoying great food. 

Chef Kenny’s work includes private catering, public speaking and educating. And through it all, he is also mounting a personal effort to make sure all people have access to healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate foods. 

In 2010, Chef Kenny realized that long-term discussions about the impact of food choices weren’t happening in communities of color. So, he launched the Eat for Life Project that has led to collaborations with Whole Foods Market, Emblem Health, and the YMCA.

He is simply bursting with joy, celebration and inspiration. I suggest you get a tall, cool glass of a favorite drink from your childhood and then sit back and relax through this inspiration-filled conversation.

Resources Mentioned:

Show Notes

(00:00- 04:40) OPENING

(04:41- 23:10)

  • Chef Kenny’s childhood
  • Black Church
  • Culture and family
  • Food as a sacred thing
  • From grandmother’s comfort food to bad food

There are no “bad foods,” just some food has more life in it

  • Obligation mindset into opportunity mindset
  • Chef Kenny’s belief
  • Chef Kenny’s epiphany
  • It’s not about weight, It’s more about mindset

(23:11- 25:57) BREAK

(25:58- 35:35)

  • Preacher’s neck story
  • Be healthy and happy 

Healthier you is personal

  • Food is shown through love
  • Oftentimes when you want to change your eating habits it will require you to come out of your comfort zone
  • Flavor gap between the food you love and these new healthier items you want to cook
  • What I really do is bring over those flavor from familiar foods and put them in a healthier preparation
  • Online cooking classes and catering services in New York City

Chef Kenny’s ministry

  • Health belief statement “I believe…”
  • “When nutritious food is at the center of my thoughts and my actions, life is better”
  • Eating healthy food is expensive

(35:36- 01:03:09)

  • Social media’s influence on healthy eating
  • The ideal body weight that we always seem to be comparing ourselves to
  • Family night dinners and putting away the phone
  • Tortilla Fried Chicken


You are worthy as you are right now

  • What do I believe about this food I’m about to eat?
  • If you continuously have the conversation “What do I believe about the food?” it opens up the mindspace and food becomes a conversation about belief not just hunger
  • Facebook: Kenneth Minor
  • Instagram: kennyminor_
  • Website: Chef Kenny 

(01:03:10- 01:04:03) CLOSING

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