Chef Aleem: The Genius Behind 2 Chainz #MEALTIME Cookbook
It’s always a dream come true when we find a way to combine our passions. This is exactly what Chef Aleem has been able to accomplish with food and music. Through hard work, perseverance, and positive energy, Chef Aleem is on his way to becoming a legend. With humble beginnings as a Washington D.C. native, Aleem has worked his way to becoming a well-respected celebrity chef. Now working with 2 Chainz, Chef Aleem has solidified himself as a household name in the music and culinary industries.
For his most recent project, Chef Aleem has teamed up with 2 Chainz to create the #MEALTIME Cookbook. When purchasing 2 Chainz newest album, B.O.A.T.S. II: #METIME, you will also receive the jaw dropping #MEALTIME cookbook. Within this masterpiece, you will find 15 delicious recipes and breath taking pictures.
YouGottaEatThis had the pleasure of catching up with Chef Aleem to discuss the genius behind this cookbook as well as going in depth about Chef Aleem’s career thus far. Check out the interview below:
YouGottaEatThis: Tell us a little about yourself, why were you attracted to becoming a professional chef? How did you link up with 2 Chainz? (no pun intended)
Chef Aleem: I live in Atlanta GA, but I am originally from Washington DC. I am a magna cum laude graduate of Le Cordon Bleu,. I’ve been cooking professionally for approximately 10 years. From working in various restaurants, catering, to handling my own restaurant, and now as a private chef. How 2Chainz and I connected, I use to have a restaurant, in college park where he was born and raised and had a music studio. Through word of mouth and mutual friends we came in contact and I would either bring meals by the studio or he would come to the restaurant and our relationship grew from there.
YouGottaEatThis: Talk about the inspiration behind creating The #MEALTIME cookbook.
Chef Aleem: It was an idea that had multiple points of inspiration; one was the reaction he got from fans every time he would post pics on Instagram; second would be the responses from his personal friends and peers in the industry. Third, was his desire to continue to set his self a part and BE DIFFERENT. Lastly we want to champion the cause of eating right and acknowledge that diet and exercise are key.
YouGottaEatThis: When you were creating the cookbook did you strategically include certain recipes to make the cooking easier for 2 Chainz’ audience?
Chef Aleem: Absolutely because it needs to be a natural progression. If there’s a demand for a more in depth cookbook or even a part 2, and we have people who have tried these and know they know how to cook them, I can start to use terms that are more culinary, I can start showing people the knife skills. In this first one we are trying things that are common and items that are comfort food. We wanted to make things that would cater to more people.
YouGottaEatThis: In a few interviews about the #MEALTIME Cookbook, 2 Chainz touches on some of his health issues and how he wants to educate his fans about healthy eating habits. What is your process for creating a daily meal plan for someone who has certain health requirements/restrictions?
Chef Aleem: The beauty of working with him is that he gives me creative control in the kitchen. I know his ailments, likes, and dislikes, so I formulate meals based on that info. From there I am able to introduce new things into his diet based off the info, the challenges become in trying to stay original, delicious and different in every meal.
YouGottaEatThis: You do a lot of touring with 2 Chainz. What do you enjoy most about being a chef on tour? What’s the biggest challenge that comes along with being a chef on tour?
Chef Aleem: The benefits of being on tour is being able to see the country and different parts of the world, while at the same time still earning my living. I guess the biggest challenge of being a chef on tour is working in a confined space while on a fixed budget, as well as staying organized and clean. Oh yeah and being safe while cooking and using sharp knives while going 70mph on the highway (laughs).
Click on Next Page to read the second part of the interview.