Chef Cynthia Chea Péan, MA
Founder, proprietor, executive chef and culinary spice curator/formulator, Afcavé Foods
Lecturer about traditional cuisines of the African diaspora
Recipe developer, and consultant on the transition of restaurant menus or athletic diets toward plant-based nutrition
Certified Plant Based Chef, The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts
Chef Cynthia Chea ("CC") Péan describes herself as "an eclectic forty something child of the diaspora, plant-based chef and fearless interpreter of style with a lean towards afropolitan sensibilities". She was raised in a household of Liberian and Guyanese descent and was immersed in a sea of African, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese and English vegetarian food flavors creatively blended by her family members. These culinary seeds sprouted into a international-scale career path spanning private chef work, recipe development, spice/herb blend formulation and nutritious cuisine related consultation/lecturing, all combining to make her an authoritative voice on the food cultures, flavors and plant-based culinary traditions of the African Diaspora.
Chef CC is professionally trained in plant-based cuisine, and her culinary arts have integrated dietary specialties such as Ayurveda, macrobiotics, raw and living Foods, gluten-free cookery and meal plans adapted for allergic sensitivities. Her emphasis is upon nutrient-dense disease-fighting foods that originated on the African continent, and she is fond of saying "I prepare incredibly delicious food that just so happens to be good for you". Her personal experiences led to her conviction that food can be medicine. She recognizes that people historically have needed to eat for survival or to eat just to find escapist comfort, but there is great potential for pleasurable cuisine also to support eating for health.
Chef CC's business, Afcavé Foods, showcases not only her engagements as a chef, but also her own distinctive line of blended spices that incorporate influences from her family roots, her culinary training and her lifelong travels. The name "Afcavé"itself reflects the merging of her African, Caribbean, and vegan sources of inspiration. Some of the major focus areas of her consulting work are providing recipe design and modification for restaurants that want to improve and/or expand their plant-based offerings, and assisting professional athletes with health-motivated dietary improvements intended to reduce the effects of wear and tear on their bodies. She says, “my mom MADE me sit in the kitchen and watch her cook. At the time it felt like punishment, but it turned out to be a gift.” She is now passionate about sharing that gift with others.