Kwasi Moses is from Oakland and currently lives in Stockton. He is married with three children and began cooking when he was seven years old, making food an integral part of his life. When he was in the military, he was in a battalion and cooked for his fellow soldiers. Eventually, he went to Cordon Bleu and studied the culinary arts. Kwasi later created his Instagram account, where he began known as chef_kwaz.
Chef Kwaz quickly learned that cooking is “a competitive field and everybody has a different thing.”
Thanks to his success, he has traveled the country, cooked for celebrities, mayors, and many others.
Becoming a Private Chef
His first job as a private chef was for a man who had come home from Afghanistan and worked for the Department of Defense. This man wanted good food and whiskey during a nice dinner for his wife’s birthday. Chef Kwaz made delicious appetizers, steak, green beans, dessert, and more. The experience stood out to Chef Kwaz because he learned about the man’s life story, and they are still friends to this day.
“I never knew food was so powerful.”
When asked about his signature dishes as a private chef today, Chef Kwaz shared:
“I think my signature dish would probably be my lamb shanks with a red wine reduction, Brussel sprouts, and mashed potatoes. Everyone calls me a seafood chef, so I cook a lot of seafood… You know, my oxtails.”
The Learning Curve
Something Chef Kwaz learned early on as a private chef is that you “had to learn that I’m not cooking for myself. I’m cooking for other people. So how I might like it, you might not like, and vice versa.”
He shared that one client had asked him to burn her Filet Mignon. For him (and many other people), this would taste horrible, but she loved it and gave him a significant tip!
To keep his quality consistent, Chef Kwaz always uses the best quality ingredients, typically organic and often sourced from farmer’s markets. His recipes and dishes are created from his memory rather than a written recipe. Generally, he keeps them simple and flavorful, with a twist, which helps with this.
His success speaks for itself. In 2016, he was voted as the number one best professional and private chef, which helped his business explode and celebrities began to hire him.
For him, this was “unexpected to be honest. I was just blessed, you know, cause at that time I was cooking… so my clients are cancer patients, normal people, it was one lady she just had a baby and didn’t want to cook for like a month.”
The idea for gourmet butter started when he went to grocery stores, and he didn’t see specialty, gourmet butter in fun flavors, like pesto. So, Chef Kwaz developed his own and created vegan, pesto, and jerk kinds of butter.
Around the time the pandemic started, Chef Kwaz began sending out samples of his developing gourmet butter line to friends and family that liked to cook. With his wife’s help, they began designing labels and finding the right containers for his delicious line of gourmet butter. This was quite the process between finding the right kind of paper, spraying the label to make it waterproof, and experimenting with many different labels, fonts, and colors. However, they were able to keep everything in-house.
It was also hard to get supplies during the pandemic, but the gourmet butter still did well.
Once the product was developed, Chef Kwaz hit the road and gave out samples. He presented the samples and asked for people to “give me honest opinions, you know, be honest. I just did that.”
This approach helped him build relationships and many people approached him asking for a wholesale price. Others found him via his chef Instagram page and asked for samples, and he began shipping his products across the country.
Brand Partnerships & Mindset
Chef Kwaz is regularly reached out to via email for partnerships on his Instagram. After creating a viral vegan Salisbury steak post, impossible Foods reached out to him for a partnership! To date, he has worked with a handful of companies including Pitboss Grills, Impossible Foods, Darwin Chicken Company, and more.
Typically, his partnerships are through Instagram posts, where he creates a post and shares it on his Instagram. Before accepting a partnership, he always performs his own research and sees what they have to offer.
Many of the brands were originally attracted to his profile due to his strong positivity and bright feed.
His dream collab?
“I would love to cook with G. Garvin, Rachel Juarez, and Sonny Anderson.”
To keep pushing towards his big goals, Chef Kwaz always remembers that his biggest competition is himself.
“I don’t worry about where the next person is going. So my job is my competition is me, just getting better and learning more. No taking no. Some reading. I do a lot of reading.”
Chef Kwaz’s Future Plans
Chef Kwaz just signed with the GSD PR team, which he’s working with for the next five years to build his brand and create a legacy for his family and kids. So far, he’s enjoyed working with a PR team because it pushes him to continually learn and take his brand to the next level.
Another side project has been voiceovers, which he did a bit in the past, but has recently rekindled.
He’s also working on getting his butter line in stores nationwide. In the future, Chef Kwaz will be launching a website separate from his private chef website for his gourmet butter. He’s also working on developing different butter flavors and adding his all-purpose seasoning to this line.
His biggest advice for you?
“I’m always smiling and I stayed positive… I’m just a person who loved to cook who tapped into my potential. And I’ve just prayed and asked God, there’s so many ways and he did, and it’s been a blessing. So, to anybody who ever dreamed anything they want to do in life, you know, just go for it! Shoot for the moon, you know? Cause every, like I said, everybody has a talent, so don’t be afraid to use that talent and natural God-given ability. … So just that… Stay positive.”