We had the good fortune of connecting with Rod Steele the Chef and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rod, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Initially my mindset behind creating my business was that I wanted to have ownership. After discovering one of my passions in the culinary field, I eventually I found a way to monetize that into becoming a private chef also owner of a catering company. Also as a natural leader I was determined to make a way for my family so I can alter the mindset of those that are inspired by me to see ownership as a much needed conversation in my community.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Over the years I have created a few businesses. I started Cali Kitchen catering in 2010. Our focus is to provide full service catering and private chef services to the public and our exclusive clients. I have catered events From the west to East coast. As a chef I enjoy satisfying my clientele providing a quality unforgettable dining experience. My second company is known as The Standing burrito founded in 2017. It is a pop up restaurant that travels the southern California region popping up in Los Angeles county and surrounding areas. We serve exquisite Burritos and tacos like no other. Fresh local ingredients, vibrant color schemes, and flavorful combinations you wont find at your typical taqueria. Flavors include our deep fried oyster tacos, or even better, our Garlic butter Lobster burrito. I am currently planning new pop up areas also a permanent location for a brick and mortar. In 2020 i created 2 more brands to add to the roster under the Steele Rod name. Beard of Steele and Steele Rod seamoss. These are 2 separate entities under the same umbrella. Steele Rod beard of Steele consist of my mens beard care line with a few essential products to give your beard that love it deserves. My products include Steele Rod beard oil, beard butter, beard combs, brushes and bonnets, handmade black soap everything to make a guy feel fresh and in tact far as facial skin and beard care. “Grow your beard strong as Steel”. Steele Rod seamoss consist Wild crafted Irish seamoss gel. We offer seamoss gel in various size jars. They come in multiple flavors including plain, Tumeric, ginger, mango, citrus, elderberry and the list goes on. Our product comes from St Lucia overseas and shipped and packaged by our partners in Atlanta, Ga. We carry other items such as black seed oil and other wellness products. Our sales have skyrocketed over 500 percent in spite of the covid-19 pandemic. A lot more people are become aware of the importance of building their Immune system strong as Steel”. In 2021 the goal is to introduce more ventures and companies as the economy opens up.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First we have to swing by Ramen Hood of los Angeles and grab a few bowls. This is my favorite vegan ramen joint. You can select your own flavorful broth also they have a wide variety of fresh wok fried veggies to choose from. Second stop will be Simply wholesome located on slauson and overhill. They have some of the best fresh juices and smoothies. I would get my usual 24 oz cup of kale, kiwi, lime, oranges, spinach, parsley, celery, green apples and ginger. I definitely recommend this juice, it will have you ready to run a Marathon. Lastly we would stop by the Marathon cultivation shop and purchase a few jars of Marathon OG and swing by every Nipsey Hussle mural throughout the entire city while bumping Nipsey’s entire catalog on shuffle. L.A is a large city meaning we can go anywhere, this day will hit different because it is true to the orgin of our existence as an Angelino.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shout out to my Cousins Roderick Hyatt and Daoud Harris for introducing me to culinary arts back in 2007. After those job referrals to some of the finest restaurants I transitioned my love for drawing into a passion for art and food. I also would like to thank my beautiful fiance Chenelle for riding with me through lows and highs of this entrepreneurial roller coaster. She also gave me heavy motivation once we bacame a couple back in 2016, being on the scene of every event by my side helping me with multiple task in the public and behind the scenes. I am thankful for her geniune love which fuels me to grind hard for our family.
Instagram: @rodsteelethechef, @thestandingburrito, @steelerodbeardoil, @steelerodseamoss
Linkedin: Rod Steele
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Rod Steele the chef