Just Call Me Chef is a call to action movement, highlighting Black Women Chefs, more than just a calendar. Just Call me Chef is a sisterhood, a professional networking organization, mentorship, and marketing.
Founded by Culinary Socialite, Catina Smith. The Mission includes to have members traveling to different cities, connecting with other chefs, hosting panels, and demos.
There are many black chefs that have "made it", but it is rare that we see them in the spotlight. Representation matters and Just Call me Chef is looking to change the narrative, break not only glass ceilings as women, but also shatter sterotypes of what it means to be a black chef.
On a journey to connect and inspire, we are launching a social media campaign using the hashtag #justcallmechef on instagram and twitter, giving our followers a look into our stories as black women chefs.
JUST CALL ME CHEF
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 two beautiful kids, Micah and Isaiah.
For Chef Cat, “opportunity is the key to inclusion and diversity in every kitchen.”