Chef J. Ponder Talks Food Network, Easy recipes, and Celebrity Clients

Yesterday (Feb.11), EmEz spoke with Celebrity Chef J.Ponder. You may know him from hit TV shows on Food Network, such as Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen. He won Cutthroat Kitchen twice and was a finalist on Chopped. Ponder accumulated all of his savvy skills from his time in the military. He was a private chef in the U.S Navy for 10 years. Soon after, he continued his studies at Culinary school. Now, he has cooked for some of your favorite celebrities and Presidents! 

EmEz began the interview by asking Chef J. Ponder about his move to Atlanta, Georgia. EmEz recalled Ponder in the talks of opening his very own restaurant. Ponder expressed his relief for not opening a restaurant right before a pandemic. He stated that he is in the planning stage of opening a restaurant. He continued to explain how he has gained clients in his new hometown.

EmEz spoke on Ponder’s time on television and asked if any networks had reached out to him. Ponder then revealed how he turned down the opportunity to be on Beat Bobby Flay. He expressed that no one typically beats Bobby Flay and he is looking to be apart of something more like Top Chef. Ponder admitted to EmEz that Cutthroat Kitchen was by far his favorite show to be on. 

EmEz continued the interview by asking the question a lot of people may want to know. “Am I buying the wrong meat…..Could the meat be too old?” Ponder began the his explanation by telling the audience to pay attention to the “white” on the meat. Which is the fat on the meat. Ponder explained that the fat on the meat will give the meat its flavor. He continued to explain how imperative it is that you get your meat and fish from a Butcher. Ponder compared the packaging on the meat at your grocery store, to a women’s pad. He points out the packaging soaking up all the blood and leaving the meat not so fresh. 

With Valentine’s Day coming up, EmEz asked Chef Ponder for an easy recipe for those who can’t cook that well. Ponder wasted no time giving a quick and nutritious meal. He began with the protein. Ponder chose chicken breast, explaining that you can’t mess this up. He instructed the audience to season it to their tasting, throw some flour on it and lightly brown it on both sides. After that, throw it in the oven for 15 minutes. Ponder began to give instructions for the sides. He suggested that the audience buy the steamed vegetables in the bag. It’s easy to just throw in the microwave and place on the plate. As for a starch, he suggested Wild Rice in a box. Lastly, he instructed the audience to get some Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom, heat it up and pour it over your chicken. At the end of his instruction, he revealed that it was a recipe for Chicken Marsala. 

After receiving a yummy recipe, EmEz asked Chef Ponder about having his own cookbook. Ponder revealed that he wants to create a digital cookbook. His vision is to walk his audience through the whole cooking process. Ponder wants his fans to feel like they’re cooking right beside him. 

EmEz and Chef Ponder briefly speak about the negligence regarding Covid-19 in Atlanta,Georgia. Ponder compared his looks when wearing a mask to a robber. He compared it to a robber being that no one in the grocery store wore a mask, and that's probably what he looked like to others. Ponder jokingly spoke about Atlanta strippers wearing masks for fashion purposes rather than safety.

EmEz continued the interview by asking Chef Ponder what celebrities he worked with in the past. Ponder gave a list including Bruce Willis, Celine Dion, George H.W Bush, George W.Bush, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Potomac. The list goes on for this Celebrity chef. 

When asked what Ponder’s most difficult situation to overcome was, Ponder revealed that it was an Indian wedding. He explained that he had to learn the spices and foods they enjoyed and make it to the best of his abilities. He admitted after their first tasting of the food, they loved it! 

Chef J.Ponder concluded the interview by giving the audience a recipe for crispy fried chicken. He revealed that one should batter the chicken in flour and egg wash. The egg wash consists of two eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper. He instructed that the audience must batter it in the flour first, then egg wash, lastly, the flour again. Ponder revealed that this is how commercial fried chicken franchises prepare their chicken. 

You can watch the full interview on EmEz’s YouTube channel The Sitdown with EmEz. 

Picture: @chefjPonder Instagram