Photo credit: Vanessa Stump
Costa Rican + African-American
Chef + Restaurateur
Born in Inglewood, California, chef Govind is the son of an African-American father and Costa Rican mother (who is of Indian, African and Costa Rican descent).
At the age of 3, the family moved to his mother's home of Costa Rica after the death of his father. Not only did Spanish become his first language, but he was surrounded by the culture and delicacies of the Caribbean coast for the next six years.
Govind’s family returned to Los Angeles when he was nine years old. And by 11, he found himself catering his mother’s dinner parties with tasty finger foods. His enjoyment of the culinary world turned formal at 13 years old, when he was introduced to and started training under Wolfgang Puck, at his Spago restaurant in West Hollywood.
After three summer vacations working for Wolfgang, Govind’s next few years included: assisting celebrity chefs Mary Sue Miliken and Susan Feniger to open City restaurant situated on the prominent La Brea Avenue in LA; and crafting his skills in European kitchens, including at the Michelin 3-star restaurant in Spain, Arzak.
When Govind moved back to Cali, his rich experiences led him to one of his first chef positions at Joachim Splichal’s Pinot Hollywood, “…where he coordinated many celebrity-filled parties for movie premieres, the Oscars and Grammys.” His ascent in the culinary world continued as he promoted his California style cuisine, a farm-to-table cooking approach, with the following restaurant ventures: Chadwick in Beverly Hills, Table 8 in LA and Miami, Post & Beam in Baldwin Hills (where Marcus Samuelsson and Govind commemorated black history month in 2013), Willie Jane, and 8oz. – a casual burger concept currently located in LA, Miami Beach, Seattle, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
With a career spanning over two decades, Govind sits among the country’s star chefs, and has received rave reviews and has appeared on: The Oprah Winfrey Show, OWN, Iron Chef America, Bravo’s Top Chef, Extra, Style Network, The Today Show and Fine Living. Govind is also a member of Macy’s Culinary Council, a consultant to Air New Zealand, and the author of the cookbook: “Small Bites, Big Nights: Seductive Little Plates for Intimate Occasions and Lavish Parties.”
Interesting fact: “Govind” is another name for Krishna (a popular Hindu deity, and a protector of cows and land).