ORLANDO, Fla. – Sevarrest Allen, the chef and owner of Kitchen Savior, started learning how to cook at the age of 8.
“My grandmother is, I say, who kind of, you know, taught me the ropes,” Allen said. “(I would) kind of go in the kitchen with her and she’s like, ‘Sevarrest, watch the pots. Don’t let my food burn.’”
That was his introduction to cooking, but he did not always plan to pursue it as a career.
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“So what happened was I was getting ready to get laid off from a job,” Allen said. “They did us a favor and told us, ‘Hey guys at this particular point we’re gonna lay you guys off.’ So, I was newly engaged and right around the time I was getting laid off was probably about a month or so before I was supposed to get married. So my wife, she goes, ‘You should look into going to culinary school.’ I’m like, ‘Well, why would I do that?’”
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Despite his skepticism, Allen ended up attending Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando. Shortly after starting his education there, Allen also started working at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
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“I got my job there and that’s where my legitimate culinary journey started because working there, you get to work with different chefs from all over the world,” he said.
While working there, Allen helped the chefs develop a soul food menu. However, he said the moment he knew he had made it was when he was put in charge of a catering event for 1,100 guests.
“I remember the executive chef was like, ‘Hey, so that barbecue rub you make — we’re gonna keep that on hand,” Allen said. “That was when I was like, ‘Cool. I can do this.’”
Allen’s culinary career opened him up to a wide range of exciting opportunities, including cooking for musicians like Sir Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones.
Allen had made the acquaintance of Eric John, the owner of Untouchables Catering. Through John, Allen had worked preparing food for the Republican National Convention in 2012.
John reached out to Sevarrest again when the Stones were playing a show in Orlando.
“He legitimately calls and he was like, ‘Hey, I got the Rolling Stones,” Allen said.
The band ended up being so impressed with the food that they invited him to come along on a leg of the tour.
“I’ll tell you, my wife was pregnant at the time — like (she might give birth) at any moment. So, I was like ‘Hey, listen. Do you mind? I might be gone for a week,” Allen said.
She said yes and Allen hit the road with the Rolling Stones.
Eventually, the chef decided to strike out on his own. He started his own personal chef, meal prep and catering business, Kitchen Savior.
In the latest episode of Florida Foodie, Allen discusses how he came up with the name for his business and how it plays into his personal faith. He also talks about his work with the Parramore Kidz Zone and the one person he would like to cook for most.
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Florida Foodie is a biweekly podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that takes a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impact that has on us here in Florida and for everyone, everywhere. Find new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.