In addition to serving interesting meals to eclectic New York Knicks star Amar'e Stoudemire, Chef Max Hardy takes time each week to mentor the next generation of culinary professionals. On Wednesday mornings, Chef Max heads to Harlem to teach a group of seniors from Opportunity Charter School's culinary team.
Teaching is just one aspect of Chef Max's mission to give back to his community. In 2011, he established the the One Chef Can 86 Hunger Foundation. Its mission is to fight hunger in the United States by educating people on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In addition, the foundation raises money for students to attend culinary arts programs.
Chef Max can relate to the students from Opportunity Charter School's program. He learned to cook as a teen. In an interview with New York City ABC affiliate WABC, Chef Max discussed his decision to pursue a career in the kitchen.
"Basketball was a great thing for me. I thought I'd make it to the NBA. It didn't happen so I thought I'd find something else to take my time, so culinary arts was it," the chef told the source.
After high school, Chef Max attended Johnson & Wales University in Miami, Florida, receiving a degree in culinary arts. He worked for a variety of celebrities and dignitaries in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York City before landing the job of personal chef to NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire.
Chef Max credits persistence and hard work as the keys to his professional success.