Celebrity Chef Wenford P. Simpson is taking “made with love” to new and literal heights. The Jamaica native who’s clientele range from the everyday foodie to A-listers like Jamie Foxx, is all about serving love on a platter prepared as comfort food dressed in Caribbean spices and sprinkled with hints of international flair for a flavorful and memorable culinary experience.

Simpson started cooking at a young age, not out of passion, but sheer necessity. Growing up as the man of the house in a poor household, Simpson often found himself in the kitchen trying to provide for his single mother and younger sister,  when he wasn’t scrounging for scraps to feed himself.

“There wasn’t a lot of food at home. When I didn’t have food I had to go over to the neighbors house and wait to see if someone will give me something to eat,” Simpson confides. “When they were finished they’d give [me] a little of what’s left in the pot… gravy… banana… But then they turn around and want to work you like a yard boy. They’ll give you the yard to sweep up or something to do to basically pay for the food you just ate. Dealing with poverty, I started gravitating towards cooking – trying to make something out of nothing,” he added.

That included a steamed cabbage recipe gone wrong. Simpson accidentally knocked curry powder onto the stove, but proceeded to make a curry cabbage dish. His sister teased him for ruining a simple meal, but in that moment Simpson vowed to prove her wrong.

From there, he interned at various bakeries and restaurants in Jamaica before being scouted by Royal Caribbean to work on a cruise line in America at the age of 17. He graduated from line cook to sous chef over 9 years – all the while being the youngest cook on the vessel.

Despite nearly insurmountable odds, Simpson’s talent and tenacity kept him going. He is currently the executive chef of B.B. Kings in the heart of Times Square New York, as well as Highline Ballroom, Howard Theater in Washington D.C, and Subrosa serving the likes of Phylicia Rashad, Taye Diggs, Hillary Clinton, and many, many more. He’s also the star of his own culinary show, “Cook-Up with Chef Patrick” on TEMPO Network and makes additional television appearances various daytime programs.

However, Simpson constantly reflects on his humble beginnings, returning to Jamaica every year to share his story with school children – encouraging them to pursue their dreams as well as teaching them how to cook.

“I tell them ‘You can turn it around. All that you guys are going through it’s one of those things in life, but don’t give up,'” Simpson explained.

“I get so many messages from kids saying, ‘Thank you so much, you motivate me,’ and these are the things aside from cooking and creating… being able to give back.”

His philanthropic efforts don’t stop there, the charitable chef is in the midst of launching a culinary school in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, which will recruit underprivileged children from around the country to perfect their culinary talents and find jobs. He’s also launching a Turkey Drive November 2017 on the states.

While Simpson has reached what many would call the pinnacle of success, he still feels he’s got more to accomplish. He’s looking towards opening up his own restaurant in addition to writing a book titled “My Life’s Footprint” where he opens up about growing up underprivileged, failed suicide attempts, and finding his reason to live.

“It’s fulfilling for me to stand at the counter and watch customers look at each other thinking, ‘Wow, this is good.’ I remember the days I used to stand and watch people eat food because I was hungry and now I’m watching people eat food and enjoying my creation,” Simpson smiled. “That’s rewarding for me.”