Green Bay – Ace Champions stopped by Ledgestone Vineyards & Winery in Greenleaf on a recent Saturday morning. The back of his Jeep his Renegade is stuffed with chicken breast, green beans, rice and mac n cheese fillings for his 52 servings.
By the time guests start arriving, the 45-year-old champion is ready to put on the show.
“Kids feel like they’re meeting a celebrity,” says one guest when Champion tries green beans on his daughter.
In a way, yes.
His show “Cook Like A. Champion” airs locally on WCWF CW 14 as Champion’s personal cooking class begins. In addition to cooking, he also produces and writes shows that air in his 13 other states and locations abroad. Like England or Puerto Rico.
He has made two appearances on the TODAY Show, won the National Grilled Cheese Championship in 2018, appeared on Food Network’s “Fire Master Grill” and launched his first business, Chef Champion LLC. Winner of nearly 20 local and national culinary awards. , in 2013.
Since moving from New Orleans to Green Bay in 2002, he has turned his passion for Cajun Creole cuisine into a multifaceted business venture.
“My friends told me that if I moved, I would be the only Cajun chef,” he said. “Well, 20 years later, I’m still the only Cajun chef in town.”
Over an hour, Champion combines a love of Cajun Creole cuisine with health and wellness tips. He has a charismatic and humorous demeanor.・”Answer session” which is the point of the cooking class.
When a guest asks about the nutritional value of cooking with canola oil, Champion explains that avocado, sunflower and grape seed oils are healthy oils with high smoke points and are great for frying.
Champion is always brand conscious, telling guests that no salt is used to season their food. Instead, he uses two of his spices (Champion’s New Orleans and Jamaican All-Purpose Spice). These can be purchased online and at Festival Foods locations in De Pere.
“With those two, you have 26 different herbs and spices to flavor your food,” he said.
From private cooking lessons to private dinners and corporate events for Green Bay Packers players, the champion has accomplished everything he set his mind to. I believe it is big.
“I will always remain an entrepreneur,” he said.
Up until that point, two crystal necklaces dangled across his chest. This is an accessory linked to his more holistic and emerging business his venture sound his healing. Holistic therapy aims to use vibrations and different frequencies to put the patient in a meditative state and heal the body. Crystals will be distributed during healing sessions.
“I really want to blow that business out of the water.
Become a Green Bay celebrity
A married father of three, Champion moved to Green Bay in 2002 with his two youngest children, then aged 1 and 3.
Five years later, at the age of 30, he had a stroke. Shortly thereafter, he met his wife Rachel and started his life “from scratch”.
“I hate to say I was a raging alcoholic, but I did pretty much everything I could to cause high blood pressure,” said Champion as he prepared for a cooking lesson at the winery. .
Born in California, his family moved to Louisiana when he was five years old. While teaching his cooking lessons, he described himself to his guests as a “New Orleans country boy” and grew up in a city riddled with poverty.
That poverty extended to his own family. He says he’s learned to be very creative with ingredients in the kitchen.
“I think it has a lot to do with how creative I am now as an adult,” he said.
His first job was as a dishwasher at a truck stop in Amite, Louisiana. At first, he was very hesitant to become a cook. But when I saw one man serving his 60-plus people in a restaurant, I kept my cool and thought, “This is the coolest thing in the world.”
football drew him to Green Bay
This may come as a shock to most Green Bay residents, but the Green Bay area is home to several semi-professional football teams.
The champion was a quarterback for one of them, Brown County Blackjack, from 2002 to 2012.
“I could throw the ball about 70 yards and was definitely a running QB,” he said.
But playing semi-professional football is not a full-time job. Players were prone to injury and the league did not offer health insurance.
He retired from football in 2012. The same year Blackjack won, Fox graduated from the Valley with a degree in Culinary Arts from his College. This turned out to be a pivotal year for him, as he played his football semi-professional for 16 years (he started with a team in Louisiana) and finished his track dual working at a restaurant.
This degree led him to a job as Executive Chef at the Plum Hill Restaurant in Kaukauna, which he held until the restaurant closed. That’s when he started teaching cooking classes. He recorded some and sent them to the Food Network hoping they would reach out to him.
“They never called me, but they realized there was a huge demand for cooking classes in Green Bay,” he said.
As his culinary reputation grew, Packers players found him through Google searches and mutual friends.
The champions served fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread, macaroni and cheese to former Packers defensive back Mike Daniels, salmon with mango salsa and shrimp étoffee to linebacker Preston Smith, and a seafood dish to former wide receiver. I gave it to Jordy Nelson.
Of former running back Arman Green from New Orleans, Champion said, “Given it was mostly Cajun-based, he loved all my food.
Emergence of new purpose
On a muggy July night, 15 people escaped the heat at Mona Rose Winery in Green Bay. Besides wine, they plan to join Champion Healing His Wave, Champion and his wife Rachel’s first business his venture.
Attendees gather in a side room, where the scent of oak and tannins from a handful of barrels fills the space. The lighting is dim, and Tibetan and chakra singing bowls, drums and chimes are placed on the floor.
Attendees range in age from early 20s to 70s, some with health problems, and others just to enjoy the tranquility. As the sound healing session begins, they close their eyes, take a deep breath, and he listens to the music made by the champions for over an hour.
“In fact, we have more power than we think we do,” said Rachel.
We plan to host a Champion Healing Wave session once a month. Next time he is scheduled for August 29th at his Hozho Healing in Green Bay. It costs $20 to participate. Couples also offer private sessions.
Mona Rose Winery owner Craig Fletcher describes Champion as a “spiritual person,” an entrepreneur, a business partner and a friend. The two have known each other for eight years.
“He’s easy to communicate with and easy to work with,” said Fletcher. “Never had a problem. He’s great.”
It was thanks to Rachel, a massage therapist and herbalist, that Champion became interested in ancient oriental medicine and techniques like sound healing.
The couple met over 14 years ago when she visited the salon where she worked to get her hair braided.
“We kind of connected, our energies connected,” Rachel said.
At the time, Champion was working as a butcher at Copp’s Food Center in Green Bay, bringing pre-cooked steaks for her and other stylists.
“Everyone at the salon loved him,” she joked.
She thinks the two are very similar, especially in terms of energy and workload. Both are always forward-looking, finding her next business idea or her event for charity.
Due to his own success, he now schedules private dinners or cooking classes eight to nine times a month so he can give back to his community.
Over the past seven years, he has participated in many charity events and raised $150,000 for over 100 charities, including Howard’s Giving Tree, Janesville School District’s “Bag of Hope,” and Green Bay’s St. John’s Ministries Homeless Shelter. I have collected more.
Champion said he understands where he came from and how he’s grown over the years. We want to tell you everything.
“I have a lot of knowledge that I have gathered over the years to share,” he said.
Ariel Perez is a business reporter for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. You can reach him at APerez1@gannett.com or view his Twitter profile at @Ariel_Perez85.