David Leathers first exposure to cooking & food was at a young age. As the son of a restaurateur it was the experience & memories in his family’s BBQ restaurant that left him with a deep impression & love for food, that led him to a career in the culinary field.
While at Pennsylvania Culinary, a mentor stated, "well round yourself as a chef, but find a niche, find something that makes you unique as a chef.” While traveling in the US & abroad as a chef, inspired by his affection to food & art, David fashioned his niche of fruit & vegetable carving. A self-taught fruit & vegetable carver, David gained acknowledgment for the art that he was exploring, but one constant remained. Chefs were questioning, "how can I learn?” David determined audio visual was the answer, where newcomers & fellow chefs could see the carving process from start to finish. With that, his company Food Stylin was born, producing 3 instructional DVDs & his own line of knives.
From corporate chef, to restaurateur, & seasoned fruit & vegetable carver, David's greatest love & accomplishment is being a dedicated father to his two sons. David currently resides in Nashville, where he is busy with Foodsmith in the booming culinary scene in Music City.
David allows his heritage to show through his food, by taking what he loves about Southern cooking & creating a modern approach on Southern staples. Menu items & ingredients may be familiar but the creative & playful way they are prepared, takes the dishes from predictable to unbelievable. His close relationships with local farms & his tribute to a tradition, is shown through his passion for canning, pickling & preserving products chosen at the height of the season.
David's food evolves while staying true to his belief that food speaks through simplicity. “Why complicate food? When you start off with a great product then allow it to be GREAT! Food has a story… it’s all about experience, connecting people & food!” Food creates some of the greatest memories & has the ability to bring back ones that have been long forgotten.
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