Meet Adrienne Cheatham - Chef-Founder of SundayBest Pop Up Series in New York City

Updated: Feb 1

Raising awareness for equal access to quality food for all communities and fighting stereotypes by becoming an inspiration for a generation of Chefs eager for inclusive restaurant models promoting women and minorities.

Photo by Melissa Hom

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Adrienne Cheatham graduated from culinary school in New York. She sharpened her skills in some of the most renowned restaurants in the city. After spending eight years working as Executive sous Chef with Eric Ripert at the triple Michelin starred Le Bernardin, she joined the Marcus Samuelsson Group as the Executive Chef for the overall culinary operations. She also competed in season 15 of Top Chef and made it to the finale. Adrienne has made her mark as a Chef in an industry dominated by white men, in which she reached the top level by working for one of the most prestigious establishments in the US. One can only imagine the pugnacity she had to show. She is talented and committed but above all, she is a persevering and ambitious Chef who denounces, in the midst of the multiple crises we are going through, the racial inequality and gender equality of an industry with archaic principles that does not give everyone a fair chance. She raises awareness about the lack of access to healthy, quality food in segregated neighborhoods where health conditions inevitably deteriorate. Adrienne’s vision and values are, without a doubt, a source of inspiration for a whole generation of Chefs ready to challenge the codes and reinvent a wobbly aging industry.

Dreaming of becoming one of the very few black chefs in the world to be awarded a Michelin star, she also hopes that this small group will grow, thanks in particular to the awareness that this crisis is raising. In the meantime, she takes care of the community by doing what she loves most in the world: sharing her passion through the series of pop-up dinners she hosts in various locations of Harlem.

Welcome Adrienne to Chefs for Impact!

By Adrienne Cheatham as told to Chefs for Impact

When it comes to food sustainability, what do you think of first?

"Chefs have already been engaging in sustainable conversations for a long time, way before covid-19. The pandemic is pushing the conversation a lot faster on how to make things in a more responsible way. This is a good thing, but it exposes so many cracks in the food system.</