CHEF CAT, FOUNDER OF JCMC
Chef Catina Smith, or "Chef Cat" as she is affectionately called, is one of Baltimore’s well known and impactful chefs. Chef Cat studied culinary arts at Baltimore International College, earning her degree in Professional Cooking, before beginning service to her country in the Air Force reserves. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management from the Community College of the Air Force. Chef Cat also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Acquisition.
Chef Cat began her career as a garde manger cook and moved up the culinary ranks quickly. Her passion and drive then led her to the line. Within a short time, she took the sous chef position at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar. She then went on to become Executive Chef at Dovecote Cafe and Notre Dame of Maryland University. Other notable kitchens she has worked in include; Magdalena and the Alexander Brown Restaurant. She currently works at Copper Kitchen, one of the premier catering companies in Baltimore.
Catina is also a private chef, creating in-home restaurant experiences for her clients. She also teaches classes, performs cooking demonstrations, speaking encouragement, and caters intimate events.
Cat has a tremendous work ethic, determination and drive. An experienced entrepreneur, she has founded two organizations; Culinary Socialite a foodie lifestyle brand and parent company to her other initiatives; and Just Call Me Chef, a sisterhood for networking, mentoring, and building community amongst black female chefs. Just Call Me Chef is changing the narrative, breaking not only the glass ceiling but also shattering stereotypes. Her most popular project is the JCMC calendar highlighting black women chefs around the country.
Chef Cat is deeply engaged in her hometown of Baltimore; providing networking opportunities, working with nonprofit organizations, mentoring, and highlighting local businesses and chefs. She currently produces several events; Brunch for Brothers, a monthly mentoring opportunity for young Black men; Crust & Cocktails, a networking event series for creative professionals; Taste Baltimore, a food emporium highlighting local businesses and local chefs; and Sunset Kickback, an outdoor food and music festival.
She also serves on the board of The Food Project, where she teaches cooking classes and food safety to kids. Chef Cat lives in Baltimore with her three beautiful kids, Micah, Isaiah and Joshua.
For Chef Cat, “opportunity is the key to inclusion and diversity in every kitchen.”