Chef Motavia Alston is Saluting Great Tae-Sting Culinary Experiences
Chef Alston on the rewards of being a chef ” It’s a profession that you can create and bring so much joy to others. This joy immediately flows inside of you. There is no ceiling ; growing, teaching, learning, and sharing has no limts at all.“
Motavia Alston’s culinary journey is both fascinating and filled with adventure. There are so many layers to his story I could probably write a book on each chapter. Motavia’s culinary story started where I imagine most culinary stories begin, with a great memory from our childhood. Chef Motavia didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming the next celebrity chef. He did grow up watching his grandmother and mother cooking a lot in his childhood. Despite not actually spending a lot of time cooking along side them he remembers the things he saw and taste of their food. When Chef joined the military he knew food service was where he wanted to serve to pay homage to his mother and grandmother through his food. Something just clicked when he entered the kitchen. He now is fulfilled by seeing people enjoying his food and craving more of it.
Retiring from the military after a 24 year career as a Sergeant First Class (E-7). Chef Alston really saw his culinary passion growing in 2007 as he entered his first military culinary competition at Fort Lee in Virginia. While stationed in Hawaii his passion grew and he was able to work alongside some accomplished chefs. Taking the knowledge he picked up form those chefs he worked tirelessly after his shifts honing the skills and perfecting his craft. He put that dedication to work to achieve his goal of becoming a Certified Executive Chef (C.E.C). Chef Motavia continued to let his passion grow as he took night classes and graduated with a culinary degree from Stratford University. Things started to take off as Chef Motavia was assigned to the Pentagon. Chef Motavia held several positions working for some of the generals. He was soon elevated to working as chef in the Secretary of Defense Executive Dining Facility. During his time at the Pentagon he worked for 5 Secretary of Defenses. In 2012 he was honored to compete in the Culinary Olympics as part of The United States Army Culinary Arts team.
All chefs have stories of times in their career where they had instances of things clicking. For Chef Alston that time was during a competition when he had created his entry after two days of work and was pleased with the results. An experienced chef came along and asked “Are you happy with that or do you have it in you to want to be the best?” Chef Motavia wanted to give his best and with that his hard work of the last couple days was pushed to the trash. The Chef worked with Motavia to incorporate new techniques and advice on how to get the most out of his entry. When the next day came around and his entry was ready to go that same chef came by and gave him the thumbs up. Chef Motavia was awarded a Bronze medal for his entry. The Chef told Motavia “Next time you know what medal you’ll get”. In 2011 during his next competition Chef Motavia achieved a gold medal . As chefs no matter how experienced we get there is always wisdom that can be had from someone else. There is always more room to grow.
Some of you might recognize Chef Motavia Alston from the Food Network Show Cooks VS Cons. Season 4 Episode 7 . This was an absolute dream of Chef Alston’s. The show opened many doors and it is always great to be recognized. The show really showed chef what he is capable of and validates that he is a chef on the cusp. Everyone that watched thought he should have won. Being on Tv really gave Chef Alston the appetite to try for more shows in the future. If everything works out in Motavia’s plan he will be gracing his presence on a future episode of Bravo’s Top Chef. I can see Chef Tom Colicchio or Padma Lakshmi telling Motavia Alston his dish really hit the mark tonight!
A project that was formed out of the flavors that inspired this chefs journey. Hawaiian and North Carolina flavors are at the core of this venture. The logo of The Tae-Sting Experience is well crafted to include the hibiscus flower right in the center as Chef Motavia’s flavors pay homage to the flavors and the culinary professionals that influenced his journey so much. The flavors of Hawaii and North Carolina pair so incredibly well together it is amazing what it does for your palate. Chef Motavia’s Tae-Sting Experience brings his unique flavors together so you want to keep coming back for more. Chef is exploring taking his brand to the streets with a food truck concept in the future. When serving his guest he finds so much fulfillment in the joy of others and repeat customers.
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Chef’s Wisdom – ” I know chefs are a competitive group by nature. We have to do better to be there for one another, supporting business big and small. We can all learn and grow from one another”Chef Motavia Alston C.E.C / Sergeant First Class
Chef Motavia is often complimented on his amazing seafood dishes. Chef Motavia won best in show for a halibut dish he prepared in a competition. He is really incredible at elevating the flavors of his seafood dishes. Chef Alston’s signature dish is his Watermelon Ceviche. A perfect bite of watermelon, marinated flank steak, and a chili-lime vinaigrette. Achieving perfect bites is a culinary passion of any great chef.
Chef G. Garvin is a Chef that has resonated with Chef Motavia. Chef Garvin was a successful African American chef that has the style and roots that speak to his culinary soul. Chef G. Garvin is a chef that resembles what he would like to achieve in his culinary journey.Chef Motavia Alston C.EC
Links to past Chef stories below.
Chef Travis Kamiyama
Chef Bert Agor Jr.