At the Old Woodward Grill Chef Chris would hit his culinary stride, perfecting his signature dish- Crawfish Gumbo and becoming passionate for Cajun/BBQ cuisines. During his tenure at the Old Woodward Grill Chef Chris became very interested in live blues music and forged relationships with some of Detroit’s finest blues musicians which led to forming his own blues band. After the Grill was sold in’94 Chef Chris would amerce himself in Detroit’s’ blues music scene and put his culinary career on hold only accepting positions that aloud for him to pursue music on a fulltime basis.
Chef Chris’ musical break came in 2002 after he and his band traveled to Memphis Tennessee and won the prestigious International Blues Challenge. Subsequently the Blues Foundation named Chef Chris and his Nairobi Trio “The Best Unsigned Blues Band in the world.” For the next few years Chef Chris and his award winning blues band would travel extensively throughout the Midwest, and South performing at marquee blues events including the W.C. Handy Awards. Billboard Magazine named them a top ten independent artist and Chef Chris was twice nominated best R&B songwriter at the Detroit Music Awards. The band also released two CDs, which have enjoyed extensive air play locally and on XM satellite radio.
Early September 2004 marked the opening of a new Blues and BBQ venue in southeastern Michigan (The Northfield Roadhouse) and Chef Chris’ return to a serious kitchen position. While there Chef Chris mastered the balancing act of serving as the Roadhouse’ head chef and blues front man, earning him a huge following and deep respect for his highly popular BBQ/Cajun menu and his prowess as a top blues entertainer. He and his band would be the “house” band at the Roadhouse until the chef left in the spring of 2006 to pursue his own business.
Today Chef Chris is still heavily involved in both cooking and music. His band released its third CD in the spring of ’06 and can be seen locally throughout the metro Detroit/Ann Arbor area and occasionally around the Midwest. He is also developing his own BBQ catering business which features many of his down home dishes for which he has steadily earned himself a reputation for throughout the years.