MEET THE CHEF
S.M. "Chef Sandi" Rogers, founder, head chef, and Institute of Culinary Arts graduate, always dreamed of opening a restaurant.
As a teenager she moved from Brooklyn, New York, to live with her grandparents in a little southeastern Georgia town.
She spent a great deal of her summers learning to purchase feed for the family's livestock as well as curing and storing meats for winter months. She learned to cook as well as can and preserve peaches to make delicious watermelon rind preserves following her Grandma Eula’s recipes.
Fresh vegetables from her grandparents garden were transformed into flavorful dishes as Chef Sandi would "revamp" each recipe as she still does today in the family restaurant and catering business.
As she cooked for her grandparents, it became evident that her comfort food dishes not only satisfied their hunger, but did something to their soul.
Her grandmother, a private chef for many years, believed soul food wasn't ethnic cooking, but a patient, intentional process of cooking each dish with love and soul. She helped kick-start Chef Sandi's love of cooking. She also inherited her grandmothers ability to "scratch out" a recipe from any ingredients she had on hand, without measuring or making waste but somehow cooking enough for everyone who took a seat at the table.
This would come in handy years later when Chef Sandi had a family of her own and served dishes for family and friends with very little provisions or ingredients available.
A philanthropist at heart, Chef Sandi also believes in giving back. Every dish sold has a percentage of its profits donated quarterly to a local community organization or family in need within the community chosen by Chef Sandi and her family.
Chef Sandi, in conjunction with her families foundation, HisVision, has been instrumental in providing funding for families in crisis by awarding grants to local and international organizations such as JBWS, Interfaith Food Pantry, Keep A Child Alive and W.E. Lead, among many others.
With their philanthropic efforts spreading across the globe to organizations like Alive Medical Services in Kampala, Uganda and WeAct in Kigali, Rwanda, the family continually looks for ways to give back and empower others through their foundation.
They have also assisted local families by providing some of the most affordable rental properties in the Morristown and Morris Township area as well as issued school supplies, medical, bereavement, tuition, and financial assistance, while supporting scholarships to local youth and funding to community organizations.