Mixing food and fitness: 7 questions with chef King Gio
First, he’ll whip up something delicious. Then, he’ll whip you into shape.
Peep our convo with food and fitness guru King Gio, the chef with the tantalizing dishes that make people say two words, “more, please.”
How did you get started cooking?
Actually, I’ve always had a passion for cooking since I was a toddler. You would always catch me in the kitchen shadowing my mom, learning her techniques, helping her prep and tasting her amazing dishes, which made me fall even more, for the love of cooking. As I got older I would cook for her and she would always give me advice and tips she was my worst critic, but my number one supporter. You know she pushed me to do better. Years went by and my life took a drastic turn. I lost everything, from my girlfriend, clothes and home, I ended up living out my car while facing court charges as well. Boy, I tell you, life couldn’t get any worse. I wasn’t able to see my kids for a while when I would see them almost every day. That hurt like hell but I kept my head up. I turned back to what I always loved and that was cooking. A friend let me sleep on their couch and also use their kitchen. I started making amazing dishes and recording it for my Facebook live. Fast-forward a few months later after posting a few pics and videos of my creations, I began to develop an audience and a buzz. I remember my daughters asking me to make them some Gumbo, I said ok I can do that. Seeing that I’ve never made it before lol boy what did I do. Anyway, I made them their Gumbo and little did I know it came out amazing seeing that it was my first time. I felt like something was missing though, so knowing me and knowing I’m different I added a whole lobster to the gumbo, and at that moment I was like yeah this is just what it needed. The taste was out of this world, so then I proceeded with my live video. So many people were loving what I did and before you know it the video was at 200K views in less than 24 hours about a week or so later over a million views. People starting blowing me up for my famous dish “Texas Gumbo” from business people to everyday people to celebrities and chefs themselves. Also, God really came through for me. Since then I’ve been featured on viral blogs, my local news station and the radio station my life had started changing for the better and that’s pretty much how I got started.
What inspired the fitness component of your business?
I’ve always been in love [with] fitness. The fact that you could build your body pretty much the way you want by working out and eating right with a great healthy diet was amazing especially since you had control over your results and the benefits behind it. So, after I went viral people would always compliment my physic and say you have a really nice body and started asking since I was a chef could I put them on a strict diet and train them to have a perfect body? I was like why not. So I started training clients two to three times a week that’s when I knew food and fitness just go together perfectly.
What is your favorite meal to prepare and why?
Gumbo, it’s what started me and those 12 plus hours making it, is surely worth every second once I see people’s face[s] light up from how delicious it tastes. And, once they begged for my recipe.
What makes your business model unique and successful?
The fact I always create tantalizing dishes and throw a crazy twist to my dish, people who were foodies couldn’t get enough of my food and amazing customer service.
How have you been able to merge both your fitness and culinary careers?
It’s simple. It just goes together food and fitness, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. People love to eat but they also love to be in shape.
Who are your celebrity clients? How were you able to engage celebrity clients?
Rico the great from the Dallas Cowboys; Rudy Rush, radio personality for 93.7 the beat in Houston; Bianca and Vince Wilfork; our Texans lineman; and a few local stars. Through word of mouth and social media, they would contact me wanting to see what all the hype was about.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next five years?
Becoming one of the best chefs in the game with my own restaurant, seasonings, sauces and my food in grocery stores, commercials, Tv shows, magazines and, of course, an inspiration to all, especially the youth.