Chef Roble: Show Debuts on Bravo TV Tonight!

Meet Chef Roble Ali, Bravo network’s newest superstar (I predict) after his show’s premiere tonight at 10 PM EST. The show follows the 27-year old chef and his sister Jasmine in the unpredictable, sometimes crazy world of catering in New York. Roble started catering unofficially at age 18, he says, but officially opened his business in May of this year.

Roble says he’s inspired by his late grandfather Jesse Harris, a professional chef in Philadelphia who owned a restaurant and catering company and even catered an event for President John F. Kennedy.

I met the ultra-charming Chef Roble during Art Basel week several days ago on South Beach at the exclusive Ferrari/Interview Magazine party at 1111 Lincoln. He and girlfriend, model Ayan Elmi, decided to stay for several days and hit the party scene after coming in from New York on business.

DAISY: What have you done so far in Miami?
Had a great time, wish we could stay longer! We met Chef Todd Erickson from Haven Gastro-Lounge on Lincoln Road and he invited us to his restaurant. It was awesome. I had been to Miami as a child but didn’t have the adult sensibility to enjoy it. Yardbird was great too. It’s Top Chef contestant Chef Jeff McInnis’s place.

DAISY: What did you like best?
The restaurant scene! But also the weather… and those bikes on South Beach where you pay and ride around! We rode bikes all over the place. The architecture is outstanding, so many nice people and come on, it’s car porn everywhere you look!

DAISY: When did your love of cooking begin?
As a kid. At a school book fair I bought a baking and pastry book – cookies, brownies, pound cake –  and I thought, ‘if I get this book I can make my own brownies. I’m in!’

DAISY: How did your grandfather inspire you?
I would see him doing awesome stuff in his restaurant and I stuck with cooking during my teenage years and worked in a restaurant doing everything. Then my mom suggested I apply to CIA (Culinary Institute of America) which was in Hyde Park, the next town over from where we lived in Poughkeepsie. I attended through the last year and I had to drop out because I couldn’t afford the rest of the tuition.

DAISY: How did that affect your budding career?
It didn’t matter because once you’re in the door at a food establishment, no one cares about school. They want to see what you can do! I was lucky to have Chef Chris Santos as my mentor. He’s a judge on the Food Network and is the owner of Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex. Really successful.

DAISY: How do you deal with clients?
I adapt to the wants of our clients so I don’t even have a standing menu. I design menus around what they’re looking for. If I don’t know how to cook something, I hire a chef who does.

DAISY: The TV promos for your show have been airing on Bravo for several weeks. Any calls?
(laughs) Yes! A lot! It’s definitely driving business to my company.

DAISY: What’s going through your mind right now – before your show’s premiere?

ROBLE: I’m very relaxed about how the show will be received by the public but only because I’ve already seen it. It speaks to a wide swath of people: black, white, Latino, purple, gay, straight! Before I saw the episodes, I was nervous. Now I’m just nervous about being live with Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live!”

By Daisy Olivera


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