Chef Bio: Art Smith

Chef Art Smith, born in Jasper, Florida, has made his way around the world as a distinguished chef, working for Oprah Winfrey and former Governor Bob Graham, cooking his way around Europe and Africa as a family chef and working on the American European Express Train.

Famous for his traditional Southern Cuisine, Smith’s signature restaurant, Table fifty-two, delights diners in Chicago, serving such traditional Southern fare as fried green tomatoes, crab cake, crispy pork belly, and oyster po-boy. Smith’s second restaurant, Art and Soul, catering to Washington DC’s Capitol Hill crowd, features local cuisine with a southern twist.

In addition to his restaurants, the celebrity chef also co-founded Common Threads, a non-profit in which chefs teach children from low-income neighborhoods how to cook healthy food and why eating the right way is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. Smith’s work with Common Threads earned him the 2007 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, and he was named Chicagoan of the year that same year by Chicago Magazine.

His book Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family garnered him a James Beard Foundation Award in 2002. He’s also the author of Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families.

Smith has also become a familiar face with television viewers. He got his first taste of Top Chef as a contestant in Top Chef Masters in 2009, where he was eliminated in the fourth episode. He went on to guest judge on the regular installment of Top Chef in 2010. Smith also serves as a regular judge for Iron Chef America on Food Network.

Smith has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Rachael Ray, Entertainment Tonight, Larry King Live, The Bonnie Hunt Show, Good Day Live and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Despite the success he has enjoyed with his restaurants, Smith continues to cook for high profile celebrities.  After spending a decade as Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef, Smith continues to serve as her specialty chef. His relationship with Winfrey parlayed into a contributing editor role with O Magazine, and he has frequently appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

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