The Detroit chef in the running for Top Chef

Detroit native Kiki Louya shares the secret recipe to her success.

Detroit has known of chef Kiki Louya for some time. She was born and bred in Detroit and was the founder of multiple cafés and restaurants around town including Folk. The chef and food activist has also been nationally recognized. The New York Times one named her one of the 16 Black chefs changing food in America. According to Louya, that honor took her by surprise because not only was she recognized for her work but she was associated with other chefs she considers inspirational.

Now she is poised for even more national recognition. Louya will be one of the chefs competing on Top Chef: Portland on Bravo. That premieres Thursday at 9:00pm. Before the big premiere, Louya joined Jason Carr to talk about her cooking philosophy and the source of her culinary inspiration.

Louya also shared what it was like competing on the award-wining cooking competition. She said the experience was nerve racking even though she had some culinary competition experience while in culinary school. This year on Top Chef, former contestants also took part in judging. According to Louya, having former contestants judging felt like a double edge sword because sometimes they were sympathetic since they too had similar experience, or they judged harder because of that same experience. You can see if that type of judging worked to her advantage when Top Chef Portland premiers Thursday on Bravo.

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