We had the good fortune of connecting with Ali Francois and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ali, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued artistic/creative career because I could never see myself doing something that wasn’t artistic/creative. Coming from a music background, I’ve always enjoyed making something out of nothing for people to enjoy. The same goes with food which is why it goes hand in hand for me. I still get to create something out of nothing for people to enjoy. And I love the challenge in doing it day in and day out. Pushing myself to be better than yesterday.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me apart is being able to adapt to whatever environment I walk into. I know that sounds cliche but it’s true for me. Every client is going to be different and have different needs. Also, every client will have different personalities which can be a challenge within itself. The food is the easy part because that is what I do and have been doing for nearly 10 years but managing different type of people and personalities can be a challenge within itself. I’m most proud being able to continue to do this job the longevity I’ve had in my career. There’s a since of pride in knowing that I didn’t give up when things got extremely frustrating over the years. But that’s just par for the course. Nothing great comes easy. I hang my hat on hard work. That how I got to where I am today. None of it was easy. Ive had a lot of up and downs in my personal and professional life but I learned that I just had to stay the course. Failure is the extra seasoning God puts on success to make it taste better. Over the years I’ve learned that things are going to happen outside of your control that will ultimately test you in ways you couldn’t imagine. Again cliche but it’s true. I’ve had to learn how to better respond to adversity rather than sulk in it. Today may be bad but tomorrow is a new day to be better. If I’d want the world to know anything about who I am is that Chef Ali Francois or ChefBoyAli lol stayed true to himself and continues to be a student because I don’t know everything but I’m willing to learn.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m really a homebody so I don’t go out as much as I used to but I would take them to Bourbon Steak in Aventura for sure. Tacology in Brickell is another spot I really like for really good tacos and drinks. Wynwood is a place to visit for anyone who hasn’t been to Miami in a while or at all. I’d also have them check out Chef Creole as well for some good Haitian food.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yes definitely. I shout them out all the time lol. The first two people are Chef Richard Ingraham and Soley Gonzalez. They got my foot in the door of the private chef world very early in my career through their company Chef RLI LLC. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I made the switch from restaurant chef to private chef but working with them made the transition easy via the mentorship I got from Chef Ingraham on the cooking side and Soley on the business side. Paying homage costs 0 dollars and I’m big on giving people their flowers while they are still here to smell them. My close friends and family also deserve credit as well for believing in me and encouraging me to keep striving for success. My late Father and Chef Saint Aubert Francois who planted so many seeds in me as a kid that I didn’t know of at the time has helped me become thee person I am today. And lastly my wife for her constant support. My job isn’t easy and I’m gone a lot wether it be long days working long hours or having to leave Miami to work in another city or state for a period of time. Her support and understanding is much appreciated.
Linkedin: Ali Francois
Facebook: Chef Ali Francois
The photo of me was taken by Bob Metelus.