Twenty-five years of globetrotting culinary adventures will give you a good idea of what people like to eat. Chef Deborah VanTrece draws on a literal world of experience to feed people comfort food that crosses cultural divides and speaks more languages than a guidebook. Following her time as a flight attendant, Chef VanTrece began her culinary career in 1994 when she graduated as the valedictorian of her class at the Art Institute. Working as an Executive Chef for a catering company by 1996, Chef VanTrece enjoyed great success during the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta. She was hired to cook for several foreign dignitaries and international executives, and won acclaim for her mastery of imported cooking techniques and delicious globally-informed cuisine. After the Olympics, Chef VanTrece opened Edible Art, a small restaurant and catering operation. Edible Art was a hit and helped to put the East Atlanta neighborhood on the map, laying the groundwork for the cultural epicenter that it’s become today. At a time when fusion restaurants and apple-tinis were all the rage, Chef VanTrece was lifted up as a champion of great food with a clear vision.
Her thoughtful take on soul food was a fresh reminder of the virtues of purity in cooking and eating. At Twisted Soul, Chef VanTrece revived and updated the soul food principles she established at Edible Art. What Chef VanTrece continues to serve is the concept of global soul food; the soul food of different cultures around the globe as she has experienced them. First opened in late 2014, transitioning locations in 2016, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours’ first iteration was voted best new restaurant in Atlanta by the Georgia Voice, ranked among the best new openings in Atlanta by Thrillist and has been featured on the Cooking Channel’s ‘Late Nite Eats’ and Genius Kitchen’s ‘Carnivorous’. While focusing on the restaurant, VanTrece continues to grow her catering business with a list of distinctive clients such as Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead, the government of Fulton County, Alston & Bird and the Bureau of Cultural Affairs. Chef VanTrece has been featured as one of Zagat’s Most Badass Female Chefs in the U.S. alongside spotlights in Creative Loafing, NBC News, Eater and on Cherry Bombe Radio and NPR’s WABE. Chef VanTrece was awarded the Atlanta Business League’s 2017 Super Tuesday Conference Award for Creative Style while her recipes have been showcased at the James Beard House and in the American Cuisine Cook Book. As a female entrepreneur, helping to promote the paradigm shift of female and African American representation in the culinary industry, Chef VanTrece’s journey has become a 25-year career, but her passion for food and feeding people has always been the foundational piece of her life.