The Untold Truth Of Guy's Grocery Games Judge G. Garvin

Celebrity chef Gerry Garvin, who's probably better known as G. Garvin, is a man with a passion for food that is unparalleled. He knows he's privileged to be in the position he is today. Speaking to the Atlanta Tribune, the chef listed some of his most memorable moments as a celebrity chef. "Cooking for presidents and having dinner at the White House, cooking with Halle Berry ... the highlights have been just the opportunity to work with amazing people," he admitted.

Also, Garvin doesn't like to restrict himself to one thing in particular. He's a famous television personality — currently seen as a judge on "Guy's Grocery Games" on Food Network — as well as a producer, an entrepreneur, a cookbook author, and more. He enjoys doing multiple things at once. The chef said that his mission is to simply inspire and make a difference in the world. "[I want] better opportunities for African-American chefs, better opportunities for all children and I want my work to be represented not as a celebrity chef, but as one of the first African Americans to have his own prime time cooking show," he said.

He learned cooking at a young age

His mom inspired him to embrace the magic of cooking and creating memories in the kitchen. As per the Food Network, the chef associates his first-ever vivid memory of food with his mom. He said, "My first food memory was my mother. Even though I was probably 10 or 11, this is what stood out to me, was Spaghetti Meatball Fridays." The family would get together at the end of every week to enjoy a big serving of spaghetti and meatballs with homemade sauce and garlic bread on the side.

A 2014 article from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) offered more clues into the chef's early life. He was raised in Atlanta where his single mother was a cook for a nursing home. The future chef spent a lot of his free time observing her work in the kitchen. Because life was hard, it didn't take long for Garvin to step up and start working at eateries to assist his mom. He was just a teen when he was hired as a line cook at the Ritz Carlton. 

He worked hard

Per The Cooking Channel, Garvin was hungry to learn. He was only 20 years old when he shifted his base to Europe and started working with veteran chef Jean Pierre Maharebacha. He also worked in Warsaw and Hamburg, trying to improve his skills in the kitchen. He was in Europe for a couple of years before he came back to the U.S. to join Veni, Vidi, Vici as a sous chef.

He tackled several more roles, including catering for former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. One of his biggest breaks perhaps was his gig at Reign, Los Angeles, where he was extremely popular as an executive chef. Of course, he also got noticed for pulling off impressive feats such as preparing food for Senator Hillary Clinton, and adding other well-known clients to his resume. His passion to grow and be successful as a culinary artist was hard to ignore. His appetite for fame and recognition was evident in the way he approached his work. Chef Garvin refused to be ordinary: he debuted his first restaurant, G Garvin's in 2001, receiving well-deserved admiration for his hard work.

His TV career gave him a boost

According to The AJC, G. Garvin was approached by TV producers after he opened his restaurant. His debut took place in the early 2000s on TV One. His executive producer, Rochelle Brown, has played a crucial role in his TV career. She said, "It's like yin and yang. We are each other's TV husband and wife. I know what makes him tick. He knows just how much to push back so I don't hurt him!"

Perhaps his most popular show is "Turn Up the Heat." Per IMDB, the show was first aired in 2002. He took up other opportunities with an equal amount of enthusiasm. As pointed out by AJC, the chef has numerous credits to his name, such as his work with the Travel Channel, where he hosted the show "Underground BBQ Challenge." He also ventured into new territory by organizing live shows for his fans. Garvin said, "I saw D.L. Hughley when the Buckhead Theatre was the Roxy when I was a kid. This is going to sound corny, but I always dreamed of doing a live show there."

He wants to provide opportunities to others like him

Chef Garvin takes his responsibilities quite seriously. The drive to do something for others around him and inspire change is pretty strong. He told the Atlanta Tribune that if he wasn't a chef, he would be a firefighter. "I believe in the service of helping people," he said, but he had additional reasons for that statement. As the chef explained, "When I was growing up in Atlanta, the firehouse was where we always went after school and hung out and they looked out for us; I've never forgotten that."

Additionally, he is serious about promoting diversity in the restaurant business. In 2006 he told The New York Times that he heard stories that cautioned him against being a part of a world that didn't have enough chefs from similar backgrounds. He remained determined and didn't let the naysayers affect him."You can ride that culinary horror story of racism, and it doesn't go much further. Or you can embrace it, realize it happened and try to make it different for guys who are coming into the business ... and teach them how to get past the things I had to deal with," Garvin explained.

He's a philantropist

Garvin saw domestic violence in his home when he was a kid. Per the Cooking Channel, this left an indelible impact on him and motivated him to reach out and help others in similar situations. Another thing that helped him was his personal experiences with kind strangers who went out of their way to support him and his family during difficult times (via the Baltimore Times.) The chef recalled his past experiences and said, "I want to return the favor, and provide resources to those in need as much as I can. That includes clothes, cash, or just making sure someone has a place to sleep. I am very much involved, and this is very important to me."

According to his website, the chef currently has his own foundation in place to help others. One of his initiatives is the G. Garvin Culinary Boot Camp that is meant for young adults. In a week, the chef introduces those aged between 16-19 to the culinary arts, something that he hopes may inspire more talented youngsters to consider cooking as a career option. As he told the Baltimore Times, "It is a constant goal of mine to be a better chef, father, and friend."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.