Born and raised in Spanish Town, Peter Ivey is the CEO and founder of The Reggae Chefs, a private chef service that specializes in the fusion of Jamaican food and culture. Ivey is also the founder and President of The League of International Chefs Association and the creator of Mission:FoodPossible, a global project that tackles poverty and food insecurity by teaching those in need how to re-purpose food. Ivey’s work has been featured in publications across the globe including Africa, the Caribbean and the USA. Most recently, Mission:FoodPossible was featured in Forbes Magazine.
The Reggae Chefs is a personal chef service that uniquely fuses Jamaican food and culture. The company was founded in 2012.
Q: What is your connection to Jamaica?
I am a Son of Jamaica.
Q: Are you a business person or entrepreneur or both?
Q: Can you tell us about your business?
The Reggae Chefs was conceived to preserve and promote Jamaica’s rich culinary and cultural contribution to the world. After attending a reggae concert in Las Vegas and observing mass consumption of inauthentic Jamaican culture, as a born and bred Jamaican, I wanted to play a role in how my culture was shared with the world. The Reggae Chefs allow clients to customize their experience by pairing culinary and cultural offerings. To date, The Reggae Chefs has been archived by the National Library of Jamaica. The Reggae Chefs’ award-winning service recently expanded to include Jamaica with future expansion plans in the pipeline.
Q: How has the Forbes magazine feature changed things for you?
The Forbes Magazine feature has introduced Mission:FoodPossible to its global audience.
Q: Can you tell us about your project in Jamaica?
Mission:FoodPossible (M:FP) was created in 2017 to combat global hunger, promote food security and reduce food waste in response to a report from the United Nations that 815 million people are hungry today, 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry, and 2 billion people are expected to be undernourished by 2050. Our comprehensive program was designed to train, empower and sustain the community. Utilizing our Most Valuable Produce (MVP) scoring tool, we develop interactive 2-day trainings on food safety, food security, and food preparation in two tracks: Community Food Security and School Food Security. M:FP empowers schools and communities to utilize local produce. Since its inception, M:FP has impacted almost 5000 people.
Q: Many businesses have a moment they call their “big three break,” whether it be a news story, a big contract, etc. Have you or your business had that “big break” yet?
The Reggae Chefs’ big break came when Usain Bolt dominated at the Olympics and the World Championships between 2012 and 2014. The world’s fascination with Bolt increased Jamaica’s popularity and also grew The Reggae Chefs’ clientele.
Q: Other than the money, what types of satisfaction do you get out of your work?
Money does not bring us satisfaction. Seeing the growth and development of my business that holds itself responsible for promotion and preservation of our great culture satisfies me. The satisfaction comes from knowing that we are getting results from tackling two of the world’s biggest challenges–hunger and food insecurity.
Q: What motivates you on a day to day basis?
The fear that I might one day leave this earth with untapped or unfulfilled potential motivates me each day.
Q: How do you motivate people that aren’t close to you and enable them to see your vision?
The projects that I am involved with have a strong sense of social responsibility. As a result, people are self-motivated when they know that they are effecting change.
Q: What time do you wake up and do you have a routine?
Wake up time varies, and I do not have a routine.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
My hobbies are reading and playing football.
Q: If the economy crashed hard and there was no more room for you in the business sector, what would you do with yourself?
The nature of entrepreneurship is to create room, so if the economy crashed, I would revert to my entrepreneurial instincts and create room.
Q: Seven-day, six-night, all-expense paid, my vacation destination is…
Q: My favorite guilty pleasure is…
Watching football all day.
Q: My favorite Jamaican food is…
Stew peas and rice.