#SaturdayEats: G Garvin

Acclaimed Chef, Cookbook Author, Television Host, James Beard Nominee, and Philanthropist. All words that describe Chef Gerry Garvin, simply known as G. Garvin. Chef Garvin launched his culinary career in his hometown, Atlanta, Georgia, at the Ritz Carlton-Downtown as the youngest line cook in the gourmet dining room. He was soon chosen by the luxury brand to move to Palm Springs, California where he open the Ritz Carlton-Rancho Mirage and worked under Chef Jean Pierre Dubray.

With a promising career ahead, Chef Garvin relocated to Los Angeles, California, and took on a position as the dining room Sous Chef at Noa Noa. After spending 3 years there, he headed to the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills and later went on to become the Executive Chef of Morton’s and Kass Bah. After spending some time in Los Angeles, Garvin returned to Atlanta to work with the Buckhead Life Group at Veni Vidi Vici and Pricci. He later returned to Los Angeles and partnered with Keyshawn Johnson to open Reign Restaurant.
After a successful start at Reign, Chef Garvin opened his signature restaurant, G Garvin’s, where he continued to cater to and host high profile dinners for clients ranging from Former President Bill Clinton, to Halle Berry, to the Former Prime Minister of Israel.

Chef Garvin is also a notable author. His first cookbook, “Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin” released in October 2006. Its widespread success quickly prompted a second printing and won an American Literacy Award and a nomination for a NAACP Image Award. It was also chosen as a participant in the 2006 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

Garvin’s highly anticipated sophomore effort, “Make it Super Simple with G. Garvin”, a collection of recipes for super simple, healthful and delectable dishes, was released in February 2008. A third cookbook, “Dining In”, released in October 2008, and features all new, fine-dining recipes that provide even the most inexperienced cooks with recipes and guidance to create the most impressive gourmet meals at home. Garvin has mastered offering a one-size-fits-all approach to cooking with sophistication and simplicity, proving that even the most basic cooking palate can create flavorful dishes.

Chef Garvin expanded his brand, making a name for himself by appearing in the homes of millions, for 7 seasons on the TV One Network hit show, Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin (airing in the US and Brazil). His increasing popularity earned him a second series on the same network, entitled G. Garvin: The Road Tour. Eventually, the Food Network’s Cooking Channel tapped him to host the series, Road Trip with G Garvin.

As a serial entrepreneur, Garvin has developed and launched Low Country Restaurant in the Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport; Garvin’s Spices; a line of Gourmet Nuts; a series of oils and vinaigrettes; and a variety of gourmet cookies. He also develops recipes for notable clients like Kraft Foods, Tyson Foods, SodexoMAGIC and The Coca-Cola Company. Restaurant consulting, yet another aspect of the Chef’s business, allows restaurateurs to realize their vision by overseeing all aspects of new operations, polices and procedures, recipe development and the creation on menus, placement of Executive Chef’s and General Managers.

Garvin’s impressive resume and philanthropic efforts have warranted accolades such as the 2007 Man of the Year award by Women Moving Forward in Business and Third Best TV Chef by Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine in 2006, behind Jacques Pepin and Emeril Lagasse. Additionally, Garvin has been a popular guest on both The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Good Morning America.

To further his indelible mark on culinary history, Chef Garvin is touching and changes lives through his G. Garvin Foundation and its primary program, the G. Garvin Culinary Boot Camp, which is geared towards young adults ages 16-19. Through this seven-day camp, Garvin introduces young people to a new career choice, the culinary arts. His efforts aid in breaking down the diversity barriers within not only the culinary industry, but in society as a whole, where chefs of color are often categorized more often by race than profession.



#FridaySmarts: Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan was UN Secretary General from January 1997 to December 2006. One of his main priorities during this period was a comprehensive program of reform that sought to revitalize the United Nations and make the international system more effective. He was a constant advocate for human rights, the rule of law, the Millennium Development Goals and Africa, and sought to bring the organization closer to the global public by forging ties with civil society, the private sector and other partners.

At Mr. Annan’s initiative, UN peacekeeping was strengthened in ways that enabled the United Nations to cope with a rapid rise in the number of operations and personnel. It was also at Mr. Annan’s urging that, in 2005, Member States established two new intergovernmental bodies: the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council. Mr. Annan likewise played a central role in the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the adoption of the UN’s first-ever counter-terrorism strategy, and the acceptance by Member States of the “responsibility to protect” people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.  His “Global Compact” initiative, launched in 1999, has become the world’s largest effort to promote corporate social responsibility.

Mr. Annan undertook wide-ranging diplomatic initiatives. In 1998, he helped to ease the transition to civilian rule in Nigeria. In the same year, he visited Iraq to resolve an impasse between Iraq and the Security Council over compliance with resolutions on weapons inspections and other matters; this effort helped to avoid an outbreak of hostilities which was imminent at that time. In 1999, he was deeply involved in the diplomatic process that led to Timor-Leste’s independence from Indonesia. He was responsible for certifying Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and in 2006 his efforts contributed to securing a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah. Also in 2006, he mediated a settlement of the dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi peninsula.

Mr Annan’s efforts to strengthen the Organization’s management, coherence and accountability involved major investments in training and technology, the introduction of a new whistleblower policy and financial disclosure requirements, and steps to improve co-ordination at country level.

Kofi Annan set up the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to mobilize leaders of all sectors to provide leadership where it needed. The Foundation works on the premise that there can be no long-term peace without development and no sustainable development without peace. And no society can long remain prosperous without the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Mr. Annan believes that the expertise and evidence needed to solve pressing problems such as poverty, violent conflict and poor governance in most cases already exists. Progress is held back too often due to a lack of leadership and of political will to use it to identify and deliver solutions.

With the Kofi Annan Foundation, Mr. Annan mobilizes political will to overcome threats to peace, development and human rights.

Kofi Annan’s widely acclaimed memoir: Interventions: A Life in War and Peace was published in 2012. Kofi Annan was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938. He is married to Nane and between them they have three children.

#ThursdayReads: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Her work has been translated into over thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and a New York Times Notable Book; and Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of 2013. Ms. Adichie is also the author of the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck.

Ms. Adichie has been invited to speak around the world. Her 2009 TED Talk, The Danger of A Single Story, is now one of the top ten most-viewed TED Talks of all time. Her 2012 talk We Should All Be Feminists has a started a worldwide conversation about feminism, and was published as a book in 2014.

Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017.

A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Ms. Adichie divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

For a detailed bibliography, please see the independent “The Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Website” maintained by Daria Tunca.

What Is Your Ideal Valentine’s Day?

With Valentine’s Day being today, my friend asked me last week what my ideal Valentine’s Day would be like. Honestly, I never really thought about it. Partially because I’ve always thought of it as the man’s job to plan Valentine’s Day & also in part because I didn’t have a date so it didn’t really matter either way.

But for kicks & giggles, I thought I would indulge so here are some of the things that would help to make my Valentine’s Day a perfect one:

  • Start the night before – any good event always begins with excitement & anticipation! By a man doing romantic things the day before & the week leading up to, it would really set the mood for me to have a nice Valentine’s Day.
  • The day off – it would be absolutely amazing if my (future) husband called my manager at work to request the day off for me without me knowing (hey, I’ve seen it happen before!). But if not, me taking the day off to enjoy my entire Valentine’s Day would be great!


  • Hire a private chef – going out to eat on Valentine’s Day can be costly, not to mention crowded. While I do enjoy having a reason to get dressed up, it would be incredible if my boyfriend or husband booked a private chef to come to our home to cook us a nice dinner. A customized menu along with a personal touch would be a great way to wind down Valentine’s Day.
  • Something handcrafted – homemade gifts are nice, but when they are made specifically for the person it’s for, that’s even better. Whether it’s something with my initials, in my favorite color or hand tailored to my exact size, that’s the type of gift that would make my Valentine’s Day extra special.
  • A getaway weekend – it’s always nice to go away, especially for a little romance. Whether it’s just a weekend drive or a quick flight, I would love it if my significant other booked a trip for us & presented it to me as a total surprise.
  • Something to wear – it goes without saying that women love clothes! Whether it’s in the form of a shopping spree, gift cards or freshly purchased clothes found hanging in my closet, buying me something to wear is always a nice gift for Valentine’s Day.

  • Plan something! – a day off, a weekend trip, a nice dinner & beautiful clothing is all good but nothing trumps a “man with a plan”. Whether it’s a concert, a picnic, a play or some other type of activity, I would love to have somewhere to go to celebrate Valentine’s. I’ve found that most men don’t plan too well (whether it’s a special day or not), so knowing that he went through the trouble of researching to find something that we both can enjoy would mean a lot to me. Having a plan for the day or for the entire weekend would be the best Valentine’s Day gift of all!!


What would your ideal Valentine’s Day look like? Let me know in the comments section below –

#BlackLivesMatter: Who Was Paul O’Neal?

A Chicago police officer who fatally shot Paul O’Neal after he crashed a reportedly stolen Jaguar into two police vehicles said in a report that he shot the 18-year-old after he saw him reaching into his waistband, and after he “perceived” shots had come from the teen.

That disclosure was found in heavily redacted police reports related to the July 28 incident that were released by the Chicago Police Department on Friday, a week after the city, with unprecedented swiftness, released several video clips that captured parts of the confrontation between the officers and the unarmed teen.

The officers’ names and badge numbers are redacted in the 61 pages of police reports obtained by the Tribune through a Freedom of Information Act request. But the documents included information that showed that two of the officers involved in the shooting in the South Shore neighborhood have three years of experience with the Police Department, and one of the officers joined the force two years ago.

According to a Tactical Response Report, filled out by police whenever they use force against a suspect, the officer who fired the fatal shots said that O’Neal “intentionally rammed his vehicle into (responding officers’) vehicle while numerous shots were simultaneously heard coming from the direction of the offender’s vehicle.

“During the pursuit offender failed to comply with verbal commands while reaching into his waistband,” the report states. In answering who fired their weapon first, the officer’s statement reads, “Ro (responding officer) perceived shots to be coming from Of (offender).”

But O’Neal had not been armed, and videos show that the bullets coming at some officers may have been coming from other officers as they fired at O’Neal’s fleeing car. The officer who shot O’Neal in the back joined the department in October 2012, according to the report. That officer fired five shots during the July 28 incident, the report shows.

One of the other officers fired nine shots during that incident, and a third officer fired one shot, the reports show.Those two officers were from the first police vehicle to confront the Jaguar and shoot at it, shortly before it slammed into the other police SUV.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson moved quickly to strip the three of their powers, citing potential policy violations. One report released Friday shows that a supervisor marked a box indicating the shooting was not within policy about 6:30 a.m. July 29, within 12 hours of the incident.

On Aug. 5, the Independent Police Review Authority released nine video clips from police dashboard and body cameras that showed apparent procedural errors by the three officers who opened fire at O’Neal as he fled in a reportedly stolen 2002 Jaguar convertible and then on foot near East 74th Street and South Merrill Avenue.

O’Neal’s shooting marks an early test of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pledge to reform policing and oversight, and transparency has been central to his announcements about his plans. While the city moved quickly to publicly release the videos and pull the officers off the streets, the videos document apparent tactical errors of the kind that have long troubled the department.

The videos show the chaos that ensued after O’Neal, driving a car reportedly stolen from Bolingbrook, clipped a police SUV and parked car in the South Shore neighborhood. Officers fired several shots at the fleeing sports car before it barreled into a police SUV down the block, the videos show. Other officers appeared to be directly in the line of fire when police shot at the fleeing vehicle.

Departmental policy specifically bans shooting at a car when it is the lone threat to an officer or others.
After O’Neal ran from the Jaguar, police chased him into a backyard, firing about five more shots, the video clips show. O’Neal died of a gunshot wound to the back, authorities said. While the body camera of the officer who fired at O”Neal in the yard was not recording as he fired the shots, it was turned on after the shooting. The cameras nonetheless captured potentially damning comments by at least one of the officers after the shooting. The officer who is believed to have shot O’Neal thought he might have been shooting at him from the moving Jaguar, when in fact his colleagues had been firing on the car. The videos show that officer also said that when he opened fire on O’Neal, “I didn’t know if he was armed or not.”

The department is going to look at changing training for officers and will take into account best practices from around the country, the Bureau of Professional Standards chief, Anne Kirkpatrick, said on Saturday.

*Excerpts taken from originally posted on Chicago Tribune.

My Version of ‘Dating for Dummies’

  1. Honor keeps relationships from going toxic because it protects the dignity of everybody involved.
  2. When you honor someone, you can discuss your issues with them without threatening their dignity.
  3. As our admiration grows for a person so does our desire for intimacy.
  4. It’s hard to mistreat someone when you have a sincere appreciation for their partnership.
  5. As long as a man is willing to put in the work, we women must accept him based on who he is working to become.
  6. Men can become charming & romantic but not intimate or transparent. Women desire one but need the other.
  7. When you are walking on a path of forgiveness, you don’t respond to dysfunction the same.
  8. People aren’t disappointments until expectations are put on them that they were never gonna meet anyway.
  9. It’s okay to grieve the loss of unrealistic expectations. It’s also okay to grieve the loss of realistic expectations.
  10. Mercy should never be based on the worthiness of the person receiving it.
  11. Compassion flows out of the emotional resilience one has in their heart, not of the worthiness of the 1 in need.
  12. The mercy phase is a time of grief where we let go of the delusion of control & prevention about what we can’t fix, manage or sustain.
  13. We must take off the masks that hide us, put down the armor that shields us and give up the behaviors that numb us.
  14. Judging gets in the way of authenticity and it doesn’t change behavior.
  15. I don’t do blame, I do responsibility.
  16. It’s okay to be afraid; it’s not okay to act out of fear.
  17. People who use words like: can, could, may and might create a more supportive and hopeful environment for their partner.
  18. To show mercy you must give them an opportunity – knowing they have the capacity to blow it and that you have the capacity to recover from them blowing it.
  19. We all need the grace to grow within a relationship.
  20. There’s the sabotage list of the closed-minded, and the support list of the open-minded.
  21. Supportive words are: can, could, may and might.
  22. Sabotage words are should, shall, ought and must.
  23. Put obedience over passion.
  24. Be the date that you want to have.
  25. Marriage should always be THE goal, not an option.

Chocolate Vent’s Quote of the Week: “WHEN YOU GO THRU HELL, DON’T STOP TO TAKE A PICTURE”

Turn all your troubles over to him, because he cares for you and is watching over you.
Keep awake! Watch! Your enemy the devil is walking around like a growling lion.
He is looking for someone to catch.
Fight against the devil.
Be strong because you believe.
Remember that your brothers all over the world suffer the same kind of trouble as you.
God gives all blessings. He has called you through Christ to be great with him for ever.
When you have suffered for a short time, he will make you all right.
He will make you strong and steady.
{1 Peter 5:7-10}