Combat veteran and chef Dwayne Matthews describes himself as a man that has worn many hats during his life. After leaving the Army as a 16T (Patriot Launching Station Enhanced Operator), Matthews suffered from undiagnosed PTSD. He struggled to find balance, but he knew that his passion to cook and create in the kitchen was still alive.
As a result, Buttnaked Creole Seasoning was born.
A low salt, Louisiana product from a New Orleans native, Matthews wanted to create a product to replace the overly salt-based seasonings that many folks use. He noticed that often Black Americans are using these overly salted seasonings and that the majority of the companies are White-owned.
His goal was to create a natural seasoning that tastes good, without the unnecessary additives, and establish a brand in the kitchen where a Black person is an owner, not just a minstrel on a box.
Despite his challenges, Matthews’ number one goal remains to give back to the less fortunate. He spends a lot of energy donating his time and resources to homeless people in the area, and he describes seeing their faces light up as his greatest joy.
As far as what he enjoys cooking, he lists a variety of different foods from curry shrimp to lamb, smoked salmon, and of course, Creole food.
Were you inspired to cook as a child? By who?
My grandmother. A lot of people take it for granted these days, but back in the day, it wasn’t nothing for her to tell me to go outside and get her a head of cabbage, go get me some greens, cut me five carrots off the vine. I grew up in a time where people did their own thing.
What are your plans and goals for the future?
Right now we’ve got the website up: buttnakedsignatureseasonings.com [and] we’re in the Forrest Park farmers market in Building K1, and the Wayfield in Fayetteville, Georgia. I really want to get the product everywhere, help as many people as possible, and this can is going to pay for that.
Buttnaked Creole seasoning can be bought online or at the mentioned locations above.