There is nothing more attractive than a man who can throw down in the kitchen. Celebrity biker and chef David “Big Swole” Rose not only cooks delicious meals but also maintains the nutritional value of his delectable dishes. Born to Jamaican parents who were both chefs, Rose’s passion for cooking began at an adolescent age. The New Jersey native is a proud alum of Le Cordon Bleu where he graduated summa cum laude. Rose is one of only 30 chef ambassadors sponsored by the Big Green Egg in the World.
In addition to his love for cooking, he is a serious motorcyclist. Rose has been intrigued by biking since he was 13 years old and is now the face and national spokesman for Harley-Davidson’s Iron Elite patch. Iron Elite celebrates the history of over 110 years of African-American Harley-Davidson bikers.
Rolling out spoke with Rose about his new role with the Big Green Egg, the history behind African-American bikers and with Thanksgiving around the corner he gave us his health-conscious holiday menu.
When did motorcycling become an interest of yours?
For me as a kid growing up in the ’80s, motorcycles were the epitome of cool to me. My fascination began after watching Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2. I said to myself that if I ever got a motorcycle, I would get a Harley-Davidson like his. When I turned of age, I learned how to ride, but I didn’t get my first Harley-Davidson until about 6 years ago. I have always ridden on my friends’ bikes, though. My first bike was a Harley-Davidson Fatboy and I got it back in 2009. I have been loving it and have been riding ever since. The freedom motorcycling brings me is indescribable.
Was it common for you to see African-American motorcyclists in your childhood neighborhood?
Definitely, I saw a lot and especially up North. They would ride their Honda Suzuki’s and little fixer uppers. There were a couple guys who owned Harleys. I am the kind of guy to go against the trend, so that is what made me want a Harley-Davidson even more because I saw very few black riders on them.
How honored are you to be a spokesperson for Harley-Davidson’s Iron Elite Patch?
The Iron Elite riders have had an amazing history since its inception. Last year, they celebrated their 110-year anniversary. It is synonymous with world wars and movie culture. It wasn’t until the last ten years that they came out as a company and vocalized and recognized the African-American rider. For me to be a representative for their branding as a black man is very humbling and means a lot to me for what it represents for the culture and bikers.
Let’s chat about your other passion of barbecuing. Can you walk me through your journey to becoming a professional chef?
I come from a huge Jamaican family. I am first-generation Jamaican American. My mother was one of thirteen children. All of my aunts and uncles could cook. My parents migrated from Jamaica. My mom was a chef at a nursing home and my dad was a chef at a villa for nuns. I remember as a child being fascinated with the way my parent’s would use raw ingredients and create so many different ranges of food. My family would always have big potlucks together and make oxtail, curry goat, stewed chicken and more. I learned so much about flavor profiles and textures that have influenced me as a chef. I also had a very diverse group of friends in Jersey that were Italian, French, Indian and so many other backgrounds. Having so much exposure to different cultures has made me an adventurous eater and love cooking. I love to create and experiment. I attended Le Cordon Blue out in Tucker [Georgia] and graduated summa cum laude in 2006 and the rest was history.
Thanksgiving is around the corner. What items can you share from your nutritional menu?
What I focus on as far as the creation of the menu is decreasing calories and substituting unhealthy cooking ingredients and improving the flavor profile to make a well-balanced meal. Oftentimes, in the Black community we make delicious food, but we cooked the dishes down to the point where they no longer have any nutritional value. When I came up with this menu, it was about highlighting food while maintaining the flavoring and the nutrients. You will still be able to taste those keynote flavors like the warm nutmeg, cinnamon, honey, and cheese, but we are using a lower calorie approach to it.
Here ae a few items from the menu.
1. The Big Green Egg
2. Honey Pecan Smoked Turkey
3. Glazed Cinnamon Yams
4. Natural Cranberry Sauce
5. Crab Macaroni and Cheese Pasta
6. Roasted Vegetable Casserole