Yealang Smith, is a successful and Award winning Chef who grew up in Los Angeles, California.  She has been interested in food at an early age and started to cook when she was 6 years old. She learned how to cook and was taught safety techniques by her baby sitter and mom. Since her mom was a single parent and student, Yealang wanted to have food ready when her mom would come home from a long day of work and classes.  

Yealang, later went to college at Howard University and graduated with a degree in Political Science.  Although she didn’t major in culinary during her times in college, she always was cooking. She had the opportunity to receive training by many professional chefs and to be mentored by Brad Johnson who is a well-known restaurateur and owner of Post& Beam a popular restaurant in Los Angeles, California.  She also credits her learning to Kevin Kathman (French Laundry Alum) as well as Chef Govind Armstrong a known culinary star and another owner of Post & Beam restaurant.  She has worked side by side with these Chefs and had training in all types of culinary styles of cooking.  

MHC: When did you get your break in catering? 

YS: As a result of catering for a baby shower, I was recommended by a former Howard University friend to cater for Raymond Usher first music video.  The Director, Billy Woodruff asked if I could later cater other videos.  My second catering project was on the set of TLC’s Waterfalls shoot.   One of my memorable moments was on March 9, 1997.  That day I was preparing food in my home for a video shoot for The Notorious B.I.G.; I received a call from productions and had been told to stop cooking. I also had a chance to do catering for Tupac Shakur (Post partum) projects during the Makaveli and Dear Mama video shoots. 

MHC: Who are some of the celebrities you have cooked for in Hollywood? 

YS: I have cooked for Eddie Murphy, Matt Kemp, Forest and Keisha Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance as well as many other famous celebrities and athletes in Hollywood. 

MHC: What advice do you have for others who are striving for their goals?

YS: It is important to work and get as much training as possible.  What you know is not enough.  In order to stay competitive you must align yourself with the best. You must find out what makes them the best and identify what procedures that they have in operations that are working. To be successful one may have to incorporate other successful people policies and procedures and try to replicate it in their own experiences. 

MHC: Do you have any Mantra’s? 

YS: My personal Mantra is for me to be consistent.  I strive to always make things better than before.  When it comes to recipes, I like to produce the highest quality products.  I want to always elevate and want to be excited about the food I cook no matter how many times I make something.  I want people to feel the excitement and passion of my cooking and to be able to experience and appreciate the process.  


Chef Yealang is working on a restaurant project that will be completed in Hollywood California by the end of the year. 

You can follow Chef Yealang on the following social media platforms



IG: Yealang Smith 

Written by Makeda Hanah Clement (MHC)