Cooking for the Stars

Atlanta Chef Brings Southern Flare with Elegance

It’s another beautiful line on Chef Deborah VanTrece’s resume: cooking for Grammy award-winning singer and actor, Janelle Monáe. And even this star-studded chef gets starstruck easily.
“It’s just a big honor,” said VanTrece. “I’m a big fan, her music is wonderful, and she’s really talented.”
The openly-lesbian chef got word of Belvedere’s partnership with Monáe just a few weeks before the Belevedere’s closing event for A Beautiful Future campaign in Atlanta. “Everything was moving very quickly,” she said. “When they came to me, it wasn’t a “we were wondering”, it was like we want you to do this. We’ve picked you to represent Atlanta and the LGBTQ community.”
Monáe handpicked the menu and that’s when VanTrece got started on creating the perfect meal to represent the musical artist and her community. “They wanted to keep close to the southern roots, so they wanted a Southern-style meal which is what I do,” said VanTrece. “And then I give it a touch of elegance, something that the guests will love and something that she will love.”
Monáe and VanTrece share a special connection, both hailing from Kansas City where they both grew up at different times. Neither had met each other until the event on Dec. 5, where Monáe was finally able to indulge in food that makes VanTrece such a powerhouse in the Atlanta food scene.