Chef Dwayne L. Hairston
Place of Employment: Custom Creations
Specialty: Gourmet Cuisine for Every Lifestyle
Title: Owner/Executive Chef
Location: Atlanta, GA (USA)
Phone: (800) 991-0235 X3
Social Network Site(s): Facebook and Twitter
Interview with Chef Dwayne L. Hairston
Article Courtesy of Basil Magazine
Basil MAGAZINE: At what age did you know you were interested in cooking for a living?
Chef Dwayne L. Hairston: It was at the age of 15.
Basil: Who gave you your first break in the culinary world?
Chef Hairston: My first cooking job was with Hyatt Hotels back in the late 1980’s. From the very beginning, my goal was always to branch out on my own. My career in the restaurant/hospitality industry gave me the real world experience needed to run a successful business. Over the years, I’ve worked alongside some really great chefs and have developed my cooking style from a combination of those experiences.
Basil: What’s your favorite “wow” dish to make?
Chef Hairston: I love seafood, so I’d have to say that my favorite dish to prepare is a specially marinated salmon with a garlic shrimp cream sauce.
Basil: When you are not working, what type of things do you make for yourself, friends and family in a more relaxed atmosphere?
Chef Hairston: I like to keep it simple when cooking for my family. We love pizza, a great burger, etc. People ask me all the time whether I am critical of other cooks and the answer basically is no. When it’s supposed to be a fine dining restaurant though, I hold them to a much higher standard.
Basil: What’s your most indispensable kitchen tool?
Chef Hairston: My knives! Slicing and dicing is a major part of any chef’s food preparation technique, so you have to have a good set of knives.
Basil: What trends do you see emerging in the Atlanta restaurant scene now?
Chef Hairston: Even though Atlanta has no shortage of places to eat, people are always looking for something new and innovative. I’ve also noticed that the bars and lounges are starting to expand their menus to attract more of the restaurant crowd.
Basil: What is your philosophy on food and dining?
Chef Hairston: Never sacrifice flavor for a pretty plate. Although presentation is important, the most memorable aspect of a meal is how it tastes. Properly cooked and seasoned food is an area that some chefs fail to give enough emphasis, opting instead to create the most dazzling presentation possible.
Basil: If you could cook for someone past or present, who would it be and why?
Chef Hairston: No one in particular comes to mind, but I love the challenge of preparing authentic ethnic cuisine for people of that background. To hear comments such as “This tastes as good as my grandmother’s _______” is the ultimate compliment.
Basil: What are some of your favorite food-related charities and why do you feel it’s important to give back?
Chef Hairston: C.H.O.I.C.E.S. (The Center Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully) is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. They have taken on the challenge of tackling this life-threatening epidemic.
Basil: Have you worked on any big events recently?
Chef Hairston: We sponsored a VIP Food & Wine Tasting Event this past November. Notable guests included local radio and television personalities, corporate execs and sports celebrities. It was fantastic!
Basil: How can our readers contact you?
Chef Hairston: They can reach me at the contact information below. Thanks!!!
Celebrity Chef Dwayne L. Hairston is the Owner/Executive Chef of Custom Creations, an Atlanta-based company offering private chef, gourmet catering and event planning services. The company was established in 2002 and lists an elite clientele from the entertainment, corporate and political arenas. Chef Hairston has made numerous local/national television appearances and donates much of his time and resources to worthwhile charities.