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Meet Chef Ponder

Chef J Ponder Talks Cutthroat Kitchen

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Source: Chef Ponder
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Have you seen Chef Ponder on cutthroat or the food network? What do you think about all the time it takes to produce a 30 minute show? What can we learn about food from chefs?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

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Chef J. Ponder: Culinary Hero

Source: Soul Vision Magazine
Photos courtesy of Chef J. Ponder

“Use your knowledge and expertise to help those who need it the most.”

When he was coming up, Chef Jacoby Ponder watched his strong, independent grandmother maintain and sustain a small farm in rural Monroe, Georgia. He watched her plant and harvest fresh vegetables—sweet potatoes, collard greens, and cabbages. He saw how she would wash off the red Georgia clay and use these vegetables to create something hearty for supper. “I unknowingly became her apprentice,” he says. “My craft is literally rooted with three main ingredients: love, passion, and flavor.”

Chef J. Ponder w/ members of his Chefpreneur Academy.

Ponder has made dishes for President George H.W. Bush, Vivica A. Fox, and others. He has also appeared on the Food Network’s Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen. In 2012, he was a finalist on Chopped. In 2014, he won Cutthroat Kitchen twice. Ponder served ten years in the U.S. Navy as a personal and private chef. Many years after his military service, he continues to use his gifts to help veterans and those on active duty. “My educational venture, Chefpreneur Academy, is a transitional training course that benefits both veterans and those on active duty,” he explains. “I teach and train personal development techniques as well as business savvy techniques on how to become an owner and not just a cook.”

Ponder is now working on his culinary series — Food for the Rich — where he highlights the delicious cuisine he cooks for some of his high-profile clients in their beautiful homes. He also has a brunch series called EAT.SIP.SOCIAL which includes the “Chef’s Table.”  “It’s neat and new. Think concepts surrounding whimsical culinary favorites with coaching and very cool urban vibes,” he says. You can see the Chef’s video series on the brand-new streaming service, SoulVision.TV, which will launch this Valentine’s Day, February 14.

“My craft is literally rooted with three main ingredients: love, passion, and flavor.”

Ponder is looking forward to seeing where his gifts and passion take him. “I plan to continue to press the culinary envelope and figure out some way to show the world who I am as a true culinarian,” he says. He wants to join the Soulidifly Family very soon. “I hope it will come to fruition.” Chef Ponder will continue to use his culinary and communication skills to help people eat and live right.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/388694815
Chef J. Ponder’s EAT.SIP.SOCIAL will be featured on SoulVision.TV.

To learn more about Chef J. Ponder, you can visit his website chefjacobyponder.com and follow him on Facebook @ChefJacobyPonder and Instagram @chefjponder.

When you eat out where do you like to dine? What do you like about celebrity chefs? Have you seen Chef Ponder on Soul Vision TV?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

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The Culinary Master!

Source: Boss Up Magazine
Photos Source: Boss Up Magazine

Looking for a Chef to whip up an amazing meal at your next event?  All the way from Monroe, GA, Chef Jacoby J. Ponder is a Personal Private Chef, who is a Food Network Competitor on Chopped, and Winner of Food Network Show Cutthroat Kitchen! (We’ve got a WINNER!)

He is motivated by his daily grind of: Cook, Rest, Repeat, and has always had a passion for the Culinary and Hospitality fields.  So how did Jacoby get into being Chef? During his 10 years in the U.S. Navy, he was a “PQMS”, known as a personal chef. However, Jacoby continue to follow his passion as well as taking it up a notch!  Jacoby attended The Culinary Institute of VA. ECPI University, where he obtained an Associates in Culinary Science and a Bachelors in Food Service Management.

In 2006, he got his first big break doing a catering job for $8k (Ching! Ching!) Jacoby was proud of his first big break, as that weeks’ worth of work was completed with only his hands! (NICE!)

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The Chef I admire most is myself.  My grind never stops and no other chef will out work me!

If you’re interested in becoming a Chef, Jacoby advises: Be ready to work, none stop! stay focus on you!

Starting out however, Jacoby experienced challenges with exposure to the right markets and having really big ideas, but no support. However, this did not stop him!  With his specialty cuisine being sea food, especially Salmon, he soon became famous for his Shrimp and grits, which he calls “Shr-its.”

“The way I make it and season it, has blown minds of the people from Dc and New York and pretty much where ever I go.”

Jacoby’s exposure continued to grow as he was soon he was cooking for celebrities! Jacoby has cooked for many celebrities such as: Vivica A. Fox, Bruce Willis, House Wives of Atl., President Bush and many more! When Jacoby is not cooking his specialty, and whips up a dish requiring wine, his wine of choice is preferably a really lite crisp wine. This is due to the composition of the wine, which helps with the flavor profile of whatever sauce he is am creating.

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Jacoby is a really big advocate for Education, and has taught Culinary Science at Stratford University. Jacoby also volunteers to teach History classes at the local community center, located in Norfolk, VA (Dope right?!)  Jacoby stated that his ultimate goals as a Chef is to one day become an owner and operator of his own small restaurant in Atlanta.

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At this time, Jacoby is working on a few projects and is currently on an 18 city tour with “The Under Ground Kitchen.”  (Awesome!)  He also has a  traveling “Couples Cooking Class,” that he says he has have done pretty well with! Though he doesn’t have any cook books available yet, he will have some soon to come!

If you’re interested in booking Jacoby as your Private Chef for your upcoming event, you can book him directly at: Celebchefjponder@gmail.com

Make sure you keep up with Jacoby by following him on:

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter: Chef JPonder

Until next time…

“Boss up and Be Blessed”

☆BossUpMag |•| 11.12.17☆

Where have you seen or will you see Chef Ponder? What would you like to learn about food? Which black and minority own business do you support?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

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Rethinking Chronic Illness

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It was not until I met Chef Ponder that I really feel that I began to have a break through in my own thinking about my health. In conjunction with Norfolk Public Libraries, Chef Ponder held a series that got cut short by the pandemic. The series was naturally about food and educating the public about the linkages between food and health. He challenged me to think critically about chronic illness and how food, among other things, could be effecting my health. How even climate, yes climate, is effecting my health. Shortly after I was speaking with other people dealing with chronic illnesses. Finally I was lead to scripture which reminded me of the promise that it gives us for a healing. Healing is totally different from the concept of pain, medicine or what have you “management.” Naturally it is in a medical professionals best financial interest to manage illness rather than to heal illness.

When I decided to stop claiming an illness, I stopped living with the illness and became dedicated to my healing rather than feeling or functioning better. When I embraced my healing, I found a healing. Similar to many people with chronic illnesses, I had many questions and few answers and even fewer real solutions. Rethinking wellness and seeking alternative medicines becomes more and more main stream as the current Western Model of Medicine continues to leave many people with the only option of managing illnesses. Managing an illness means living with an illness, which means developing a chronic illness, which can lead to other illnesses as the body is in a constant state of disease.

What chronic illnesses have you or your loved ones been dealing with? How long? Have you resolved to live with the illness for life? Did you know there could be another option of wellness for you by considering alternative medicines and roads to wellness. Mainstream medicine does not mean health or healing. Have you considered thinking outside the confines of mainstream. Fads come and go. What is mainstream today will not necessarily be mainstream tomorrow. Health and wellness are not fades. They are a state of healthy being. We pray for your health and wellness.Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Beginning the Journey to Healing – 2

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This is the continued article from the previous day about what we hope is the beginning of our journey to healing. When we began this journey we knew that diet would be an important part of the journey. We thank you for taking the Journey with us and hope that it helps to feed and enrich your lives and indeed your overall health. The turning point of our journey began a long time ago and encompasses many people as each individual contributed their own knowledge and wisdom from chefs to dietitians and medical professionals. Western medicine presents many barriers to a true and total healing. Western medicine focuses highly on managing symptoms and the medicines that the pharmaceutical industry profits profoundly from. We do not consider hormones a medicines and thus our journey to healing has begun with zero medicines. Our journey took a significant turn when we walked into a holistic pharmacy (namely, Peoples Pharmacy of Norfolk, VA who are able to help you wherever you are located) or some vitamins. We believe that these holistic doctors were able to put us on the path to health in under a month and to diagnose the issue immediately. Some of us struggled with similar issues for years and others even longer.

All of my symptoms have begun to mitigate after we address what we believe is the root of the problem. It is only about a month in on this leg of our journey but we have already begun to see the difference. In another 2 months we are told the results will be better. Stay tuned and we will keep you updated on our journey. We take vitamins, minerals, spices, foods and oils combined with a strategic diet with foods that have medicinal benefits. We pray that these articles are transformative for you. Thank you for taking this journey with us. How do you wish you could improve your health? How has your health hindered you? How has your health changed your life? How have these articles helped you? How can they help your friends and family? Post your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your family and friends by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

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Beginning the Journey to Healing

Diet & Health Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Most people will tell you that at the center of good health is diet and exercise. And we would agree. Our journey however has lead us to look at health as the third pillar of over good health. While one may exercise and have an excellent diet, these do have a profound on your over all health. But health in itself can be a little more complicated than just exercise and diet. In fact many people in excellent health have reported contracting COVID 19. While COVID 19 did hit communities with preexisting conditions hardest, this does not mean that people without under lying conditions were not also hit. Indeed they want you to know that COVID 19 has impacted us all: old, young, sick and healthy.

Perhaps this was what was so confusing to us. While we were all in pretty good health, we still struggled with health conditions that impacted our health. Chef Ponder really challenged me not to accept diagnoses. One of the most impressive things about Chef Ponder is that he is not only a great cook but an excellent student of food and human begins. He talked alot about how things in our environment can impact our health. Things like temperature and available foods can impact our health. For instance, if one’s relatives are from a warm climate and they then move to a cold climate, they will eat different foods because they eat what is available. This difference in diet can impact one’s health. While one maybe eating “healthy”, the food may not be proper given the history of your family. In other words it can have an impact on your body and thus health.

Chef Ponder along with many others along this Journey have helped us to begin what we hope is a path to our healing. Read the next article to learn more. What health concerns do you have? Have you found your path to healing? How long did it take you? Who helped you?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

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Chefs shop local foods

Organic Cooking with Sustainable Food | Fork by Fork | TakePart TV

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Chefs shop local foods
Source: Take Part TV
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Chefs are so passionate about food. They often demand the best foods for cooking. Many chefs shop locally and often for the freshest and finest quality foods. What do you think of buying locally? Where are the local food markets in your community? Are the foods sold by the farmer? Do you have a local farmers market? Do you ask the farmer questions about food production? You are well informed food consumers.

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

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The Urban Landscape

Chef Ponder was to the point about the food choices in our urban environments. He warned us that our food choices are often to full of meats, canned and frozen foods and often lacked choices of fresh vegetables, fruits and fresh foods in general. And so was inspired our organic garden. My grandfather had a corn field where our neighbor’s house is located now. So, it was not hard for us to take the leap and reclaim some urban space for gardening.

Our beginnings were and are humble. So, we have a lot of hope for our garden. Not only will it provide us a reprieve from the food choices to often found in urban grocery settings, it will also give us some organic options as well. Chef Ponder pointed out to us that many of the health challenges we face today may be solved by proper diet. I have personally suffered tremendously because of a mineral and vitamin deficiency and know many other women who have also suffered like me. Needless to say, we have high hopes for our journey and know improvements do not happen over night.

As always at the root of any organic mission is your health and wellness. During a time when Corona is so prevalent, we can all appreciate those things that add to our good health and well being. What challenges have you faced because of poor diet? What would you like to grow in your garden? How can you transform your urban landscape into a vegetation heaven? Join us on our organic journey.

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.