Chef Art Smith, who is also an author and a television personality, is responsible for reviving the meaning and symbolism associated with the word “table” and for bringing together families and friends through the act of eating together. His specialty is cooking dishes from the South.
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Charles Arthur “Art” Smith is an American chef who was born on March 1, 1960. He has previously worked as a chef for former governors of Florida, including Bob Graham and Jeb Bush, and he was Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef up until 2007. While he was a student at Florida State University, he participated in the culinary internship programs offered by The Greenbrier and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom College Program.
Jesus Salgueiro, also a painter, is Smith’s spouse, and the couple makes their home in Jasper, Florida. After dating for ten years and living together for five of those years, the couple tied the knot at the Lincoln Memorial in 2011. They give their time to a variety of causes, ranging from teaching children how to cook to providing aid to those in need.
Smith received the news that he had diabetes just a few months before turning 50. After some time, he decided to go on a diet and as a result, he shed 100 pounds. Smith has recently begun making an effort to eat six smaller meals each day. In addition to that, he has finished a number of marathons.
Recently, he and his husband have become adoptive parents to five children.
Art Smith as Family Chef
Art is a native of Jasper, Florida, and he received his education in the Business School at Florida State University. After gaining experience in the hospitality industry through two internships at The Greenbrier Resort, he was invited to participate in the highly regarded Walt Disney Magic Kingdom College Program. After receiving his diploma, Art found work as an executive chef at the Florida Governor’s Mansion, where he served former Governor Bob Graham, who is now a senator for the United States, and former Governor Graham’s wife Adele. He continued to prepare meals for individuals and their families all over the world, including for the families of other famous politicians and celebrities.
Art took a position as a chef on the American European Express Train after having extensive travel experience throughout Europe and Africa while working as a chef for a family. After he had established himself in Chicago, he started working as a teacher for Williams Sonoma and, later, he became a special event chef for Martha Stewart Living Magazine. 1997 marked the beginning of his tenure as Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham’s personal chef, which would last for a total of ten years. At the moment, he is the specialty chef for Ms. Winfrey’s events that get the most attention. In 2007, he plans to open a new fine dining establishment in Chicago under the name “Table.” The restaurant will specialize in serving hand-crafted, organic foods that have been sourced from some of the most reputable farms in the Midwest.
Influence on the Culinary Arts
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Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen & Southern Shine Bar is located in Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort, and Art Smith is a co-owner of both establishments. In addition, he owns Blue Door Kitchen & Garden in Chicago, Chicago Q Southern, and the soon-to-open Art Smith’s Reunion at Chicago’s Navy Pier. All of these establishments are located in Chicago.
Smith’s influence on cuisine can be found all over the world. In 2012, he was invited to join the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership of the United States Department of State, which was established in collaboration with the James Beard Foundation. Smith and a number of other well-known chefs are being sent all over the world to promote American cuisine and the ingredients that go into it. His travels for strategic purposes have taken him to Cuba and other parts of the Middle East.
Smith was also featured in an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, in which he lent a helping hand to a worthy family that has dedicated their lives to providing meals for those in their community who are less fortunate. In this episode, Smith helped a family that has been doing this work for many years. Smith just finished shooting the pilot episode for the ABC television show Time Machine Chefs, which he filmed not too long ago (Over Easy Production Inc.) In addition to working as a Williams-Sonoma culinary instructor and the special events chef for Martha Stewart Living magazine, Smith has made frequent appearances on various television programs. He has also served as a guest judge on the Food Network’s Chopped.
- Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family, which won the James Beard Foundation Book Award in 2002.
- Winner of the “For Human Values” category of the 2001 Gourmand World Cookbook Award.
- The James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2007
- Art Smith was honored with induction into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in the year 2008.
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A member of the editorial staff at O, the magazine that Oprah publishes. Back to the Table, Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families, and Back to the Family are the titles of Smith’s three critically acclaimed cookbooks, all of which she authored. Dr. Dean Ornish, a cardiologist and author whose books have been bestsellers in New York Times, asked him to contribute recipes and advice for healthy cooking to his most recent book, The Spectrum. He is responsible for editing a monthly article that is published on Oprah.com and also writes for O, The Oprah Magazine. His most recent cookbook, Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort, which was published in May of 2013, places an emphasis on healthy cooking as well as healthy living (published by Harper One 2013). Dr. Dean Ornish, a pioneering cardiologist and author of books that have been bestsellers on the New York Times bestseller list, asked him to contribute recipes and advice for cooking to his most recent book, The Spectrum.
Contributing Back to the Community
Smith is the driving force behind the non-profit organization Common Threads. The organization’s mission is to educate children about a variety of cultures through the mediums of art and cuisine. Over 750 children have been helped by Common Threads, and the organization provided 2,000 nutritious meals to children in 2006. “Kids Café,” which is a nutrition program for children in Minneapolis, has him on its board of directors. Smith owns and operates two restaurants, one in Chicago called Table Fifty-Two, which is very popular, and the other is called Art and Soul, which is located in Washington, District of Columbia. As a contestant on the first season of Top Chef Masters in 2009, Smith amassed a donation of $10,000 for the nonprofit organization Common Threads.