We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Joshua Cinco a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Joshua , looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. We’d love to start by getting your thoughts on what you are seeing as some the biggest trends emerging in your industry
Some of the biggest trends I’m seeing is that a lot of businesses are turning more to music and social media for marketing and engagement than ever before! Platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram, and even Twitch have made it easier to be able to connect an audience to your brand and profit once off reels which I think is a game changer for many! You have content creators and Tik Tok stars whom are resources now and ways of marketing for local and global brands which I think is a game changer and opens up a lot of opportunities for food lovers and creators out there. Outside of social media, alot of the restaurant industry as a whole is collaborating with music and music celebrities as a way to attract more customers and get them to come more often which I think is amazing to see. To have the combination of great food, music and possibility of meeting a favorite artist is quite the package and you will get that a lot out here in SoCal area for sure!
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
Hi my name is Josh Cinco I am a travel celebrity chef and co founder of Culinary Soul LlC born and raised in St.Louis, MO and moved to the San Diego area back in 2019 ! My services are always welcomed where needed and with the title travel chef I move around a lot! This past year alone I’ve been able to cater in places like Tennessee, Denver, Phoenix, LA, Atlanta. I had the owner to cater and serve bites for San Diego’s Bartenders Week which was by far one of the biggest events I’ve had this year in 2022 huge shout out to Josh Davis, Dr. Law (the City Needs US) and Brown and Balanced, and Lafayette Hotel for having me! Being able to cater with some of the biggest mixologist in the world on top of the numerous drink sponsors there was one for the books!
A lot of people ask me how did I get into this industry of being a travel celebrity chef and honestly it’s always been a passion of mine but more importantly many trials and tribulations got me to where I’m at today! The road isn’t always easy, but everything is always about perception and how you look at things.
I started making a name for myself and brand back in 2017 when I partnered with a couple of investors and business minded affiliates to upscale and form Red Oak Biscuits. The brand was a success and we were issued in many food articles and magazines within the region which really helped push our sales at the time. We built relationships with numerous local businesses which helped with creating catering contracts with them as well! We were a household name and planning on expanding into a franchise as well as opening up a couple more concepts! Wedding company, and two other concepts were in the works but due to uncertain circumstances the company itself had to come to an end after 2.5 years. After experiencing that, I had to come to a realization that sometimes everything doesn’t go your way and that life goes on. In order to continue or get back on top u must act on it and that I did!
Told myself that I wasn’t going to quit on doing what I love, prayed and manifested on an opportunity and was proposed an opportunity to be an event chef at a 5 star winery in Wine Country in California! My work there gave me the ego boost and inspiration to take the catering thing to another level and form my own catering company so I did with hardly anything and help or my uncle Kendall Stanton!
I asked many to help spread the word or to book me for little or nothing when I first came out to California! I would damn near do free tastings and pop ups just to get my name out there! Then COVID hit and honestly instead living in fear I took it as a perfect time to take advantage of restaurants being shut down and to push my services like never before! I got lucky and was getting a lot of feed back from military families and folks out here in San Diego. Through great social media groups like Black San Diego myself and many other business professionals as well where able to survive and promote our brands n services to locals and other owners! It was almost like a gold mine at the time when the pandemic had hit because referrals from the word of mouth about myself were out of this world! My clientele and honesty faith in building a great service and experience was all I was preparing for!
I reached out to Quinton Austin (Executive Chef of Louisiana Purchase and Culinary Director of Grind and Prosper) and Kelston Moore earlier that year about starting a chef showcase to help promote black chefs in the area and their talents! That showcase then turned into Bad Boyz of Culinary which is now today one of the more well known Culinary groups in the area! Outside of networking locally I guess word of mouth was getting back to Hollywood as well! With that a-lot of celebrities were requesting for me to come cater for them and that’s when I knew that I was on my way and starting to actual be a known brand in the California area!
Success started to actually feel like success when I began catering for celebrities and clients outside of the California area! That’s when I knew I was on my way to the top and those with me where on they way as well!
I ask myself and everyone else what is success to you?! Some would say being rich, some would name having possession of a million things but in all reality success is doing what you love and seeing good results come out of it! I’ve rubbed shoulders, built relationships and have contacts with certain people that money can’t buy! For example to be able to cater for T.I and the Harris family; to Kevin Gates and Fl Dusa, to cheffing it up in Soulja Boy house is beyond anything I’ll imagine! To cater for rising businesses and real estate groups like Symbio Denver or travel groups like Wheels Up Heels UP are all blessings I would say!
My goal for the future is to continue to learn,grow, and be a inspiration to others! Want to soon build a team of chefs where we can travel the world together and cater huge events and showcases! Also plan on launching a product here soon! I talked about it but now it’s actually in the works!
On a personal note, I feel like I’ve worked hard to build a name for myself as a travel chef and young black entrepreneur these past few years! I’ve been blessed beyond measure to be doing what I’m doing and to even get acknowledged for it is amazing! I originally come from a place where opportunity is rare and love isn’t always given but the people of San Diego and the West coast in general have been nothing but amazing to me! I want to end this interview by saying THANK YOU to everyone whom has pushed me to be better and have supported me thus far! I hope that this article can be on inspiration to the next young business individual out there to never give up and to know that your time is coming!
Keep God first and remember to trust the process!
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
I honestly got lucky and started building my audience through my restaurant from when we were operating in St. Louis. NBC news did a segment on our restaurant promoting our food and name which gave me a popularity boost when it came to social media! Also being blessed to do private events, music video shoots, wedding etc you meet a lot of people who have huge followings; so a shout out, comment, like, or even a view can go a long way! Also just constantly tagging your name tag on everything can help with growing your audience, for you never know who is watching and sharing your content!
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
I learned a hard lesson that even though your on the top doesn’t mean there isn’t room to grow! Sometimes to remain chief you at time have to play the role of the Indian in order to get to the next level! I’ve been blessed to be at the same table, section, private parties, vip you name it with real bosses! It’s a beautiful feeling and inspiring because it shows you that you are and can be next up!
Also try other things! If you know you have other talents use em! I’ve always wanted to be an inspiring actor and by the grace of god have been able to have roles in local films and music videos! It’s not a lot but it’s a start and can bring in more income and clientele for what you actually do outside of just what you doing as a hobby! I’ve been able to cater for set for numerous rappers and BWA to be example. It was a honor to cater for a Kevin Gates and FL Dusa shoot and mainly was able to due to the connection I made with the director from being a actor from one of his shoots whom is now a close friend of mine! The power of building relationships is a powerful thing and can get you in doors people can imagine! Keep going
- Instagram: @chefcinco314
- Facebook: Joshua Anhur-Shu Cinco
- Other: Be on lookout for my product line and website coming soon!