Joel • Executive Chef & Owner, May-I Personal Chef

Joel has lived in Denver for 10 years. He’s passionate about cooking and sharing the joy that it brings him with everyone from students to professional athletes. Here’s what he shared about Denver’s burgeoning food scene and what it means to be Black in the 5280.

Who are you?

I am a husband, father, a Muslim, and a sneakerhead. I live my life 20 miles over the speed limit so people don’t catch me. I am an entrepreneur and friend to some. I was taught to be myself at all costs. My father taught me that and I will teach my children that same mentality so they can find their own way as well.

What does it mean to be you?

Black, proud, and yearning for the day my community can come together in a society of our own food, education, rules, government, and power.

What does it mean to you to be Black in Denver?

To be Black in Denver is an opportunity. It’s the chance to be bigger in a city where you’re outnumbered. Leading each day as an example for yourself and your family. Taking each task, job and direction to the fullest. The entrepreneurs, 9-5ers, and developers, it’s your time to do something.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

The food scene is growing rapidly. I love that on any given day I can eat all types of ethnic food. That’s the melting pot starting to simmer!

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you as a creative, entrepreneur, professional, etc.?

The networking is huge! Seeing somebody’s business skyrocket and stay consistent makes you want to keep going and catch up to them. It’s not like crabs in a barrel but the tortoise trying to catch the hare.

Looking to change your diet or have an upcoming event? Joel owns a premier food service providing meal prep and catering to Denver and surrounding areas. Keep up with May-I Personal Chef on Facebook, Instagram and if you feel so inclined, hire Joel and his team to cater your next private affair.