Crafting The Legacy: An Interview with Nduvoakim Abdus-Salaam, Executive Chef of The Roosevelt Hotel

"I worked at all fine dining restaurants and I always tried to work where the best chefs were or restaurants that were considered to be the best. I mapped it out and knew the kind of chef that I wanted to become. I had to map it out and work at certain places for a year or up to 18 months. I would work at specific stations for the skills and then would start working on the next place that I wanted to learn a specific skill from."

In an industry with few faces of color in its ranks, Chef Nduvoakim Abdus-Salaam exceeds the bar. As the Executive Chef of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, Salaam infuses his global culinary experience with his appealing and artistic style. In a Q&A with Chef Salaam, we discover his life’s journey and what legacy he wants to leave behind—and get an exclusive look inside his studio (the Roosevelt Hotel kitchen).

LET’S START WITH YOUR CHILDHOOD. DID YOU HAVE ANY EARLY INFLUENCES OR ANYONE IN PARTICULAR WHO IMPACTED YOUR START IN THE CULINARY