Chef Rey Dathard | Advisor and Director of Cook&Chew Jr.©
Chef Rey has been blessed to use his innate gifts to achieve a career that he is passionate about. He entered the culinary program at The Art Institute of Houston at age 37, graduated in June of 2004 with honors, and officially became Chef. He shared his culinary gift with many philanthropic organizations and served many celebrities including Beyoncé and multiple NFL, MLB, and NBA players. Through this venture, he attracted former Houston Rocket and NBA Hall of Famer, Tracy McGrady, who signed him to a five-year position. In October 2009, Chef Rey opened his first restaurant, Chef Rey’s, in Missouri City, Texas. Here, he was able to share his gift with restaurant patrons and launch his own line of signature desserts. In February 2011, Chef Rey was selected as the Executive Chef of the Houston Astros and in 2014 began serving as Executive Chef of the Houston Rockets followed by his next assignment in 2019 as the Executive Chef for the Houston Dynamo.
Professionally, Chef Rey has collaborated on many distinctive projects including partnering with Allied Global Marketing to promote Netflix’s Original Series, Waffles + Mochi, a children’s cooking show series produced by Higher Productions, founded by former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; McDonald’s Restaurants; Ronald McDonald House of Houston; and the National Pork Board. He launched a nonprofit campaign, ‘The Recipe for Life is Love” and has authored several cookbooks, It’s All About Color: The Journey of Becoming Chef Rey, Chef Rey: Embodies Zeal & Zest (Limited Edition), Food Meets Athlete, 15 Years in 12 Minutes. An advocate of giving back, Chef Rey established a scholarship fund at The Art Institute of Houston to assist under-privileged students seeking careers in the culinary field.
As first-place winner of H-E-B’s 2018 Quest for Texas Best competition, featuring his signature line of cheesecakes. In 2021, the celebrated chef launched a YouTube cooking show, Chef Rey’s Treasures of Food. He believes that food is a universal language and uses his passion for all things culinary to nourish, encourage, and uplift humanity.
Chef Rey believes in establishing win-win partnerships and joined forces with Lifeway Kefir Foods in 2021 to promote the benefits of a healthy digestive system. In the summer of 2021, he began teaching at the Art Institute in Houston, Texas as a guest lecturer, educating culinary students on “Cuisine of the Americas: Soul Food Feeding the Heart.” In the Fall of 2021, he took an assignment with Houston Texans’ Tytus Howard.
Currently, Chef Rey is on assignment with a star player of the Houston Astros. He is currently working on an hour-long documentary, “The Power of Food,” which shines the spotlight on how food has shaped and propelled the trajectory of Chef Rey’s life. This endeavor is personal and powerful, but most importantly, it is his Gift that he profoundly has a passion for every day of his life.