cover art for Chef & Author Keith Corbin: How to Make California Soul Food

John Edmonds Kozma's Unimpressed Podcast

Chef & Author Keith Corbin: How to Make California Soul Food

Season 3, Ep. 129

Chef Keith Corbin is the two-time James Beard Award-nominated executive chef and co-owner of Alta Adams, The Los Angeles Times bestselling author of “California Soul”, and a sought-after public speaker.

While growing up in the Jordan Downs housing projects in Watts, Corbin was involved with gangs and drug dealing, eventually leading to his incarceration. In prison, he first started cooking and working in kitchens, which eventually led to a job with the LocoL restaurant group run by celebrity chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson. From there, Corbin partnered with Patterson on Alta Adams, a "California Soul" food restaurant utilizing local produce and healthier ingredients to put Corbin's spin on the food he grew up cooking and eating with his grandmother. Alta was named one of the best restaurants in the country by Esquire, Thrillist, and the Los Angeles Times and called "Black Hollywood's top restaurant" by The Hollywood Reporter.

Corbin's bestselling memoir, “California Soul: An American Epic of Cooking and Survival" was published in 2022 by Random House, named the LA Times Book Club pick of the month for August, and quickly optioned by a major studio to be made into a television series. Since the book’s release, Corbin has appeared on Dr. Phil, The CBS Morning Show, and many other national programs to share more about his incredible story and inspire others. His words have been featured across multiple media outlets, including KCRW, The Grio, ABC7, Salon, Shondaland, and Thrillist. In 2023, the book was nominated for a James Beard Media Award in the Literary Writing category.

Consistently giving back, Corbin regularly mentors youth from underserved communities and speaks at colleges and educational programs nationwide. Corbin has been invited to share his story from coast to coast with readers and food fanatics alike on book tours, festivals, and other inspirational events, including the 2023 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Philly Chef’s Conference, Tucson Book Festival, San Diego Writer’s Festival and The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

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