If you know Chef Whitfield, you know that his passion for the culinary arts speaks volumes, but it’s rarely overshadowed by the great taste of his signature dishes.
Couple his passion and skill for creating terrific-tasting cuisine with his mission to educate people about better health and nutrition, and you have a culinary ROCK STAR. Probably one of Prince George’s County’s best-hidden gems, the PGCC Culinary Arts Center is quietly tucked away in a Capitol Heights neighborhood that I, personally, needed my GPS to find. But despite its discrete location, the center is a haven for the community and at the hand of Chef Whitfield and his students, they are transforming lives one meal at a time.
I had the opportunity to sit courtside on Tuesday at one of the chef’s notorious seminars where he demos a meal, discusses nutrition and how to best incorporate it into daily life, and performs a combination line dance/freestyle whilst sharing funny, personal anecdotes about his own life’s journey. An advocate for seniors–working to ensure they have a better quality of life–Chef Whitfield is exceptionally proactive in fostering partnerships that ultimately benefit the community. At the event, the room full of participants (which was at capacity) responded to him in the only way you would expect; with cheers, laughter, nods in agreement and empty plates.
What Chef Whitfield contributes to our community–the college and beyond–is immeasurable. He’s on the ground, connected to individuals, and changing the way people are aging. Through a partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation, among a host of other key contributors, Prince George’s Community College’s footprint is evident in the hospitality industry, with Chef Whitfield at the wheel.
People + Passion + Education + Plan = A Thriving Community
Ask him why he chooses to personally tackle the issues of health and nutrition for the residents of Prince George’s County? According to Chef Whitfield, statistics show that several areas within Prince George’s County indicate alarmingly high rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease-related deaths. This resonated, and he’s laser-focused in his mission to change those stats through education, better resources and a personal approach. Simply put he says, “It’s not where you live, but how you live.”