Chef Max Hardy Throws Down at Come Home Meet and Greet
Chef Max Hardy has worked in the culinary industry for several years and has brought his passion and talents back to Detroit. After receiving a scholarship to culinary school in Miami, Hardy put everything into honing his craft and eventually started cooking for a variety of celebrities and basketball players, leading him to move to New York City.
A couple of cookbooks later, Hardy has a passion for community and is driven to give back, running the New York Food Bank and cooking at a community kitchen in Harlem. He also founded the One Chef Can 86 Hunger Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that works toward raising awareness and fighting the hunger epidemic in America. Hardy currently runs a couple of restaurants in Detroit as well as programming for DPSCD students.
Find out what Hardy has to say about his time at DPS below:
Are there any specific memories of your time at DPSCD that stick out to you? Any DPSCD teachers or staff members who made an impact?
I learned Swahili and about our culture and heritage. I adopted a school in Africa a few years ago, it’s wonderful to understand the culture and it is nice to be full circle.
I also played basketball which helped me understand the grit and grind of Detroit. A lot of what I learned, and I know others learned, we have taken forth with us. I took afterschool classes at Butzel. I learned how to play chess as well and to swim. I was the city champion in chess. That was a cool foundation for me growing up on the west side. It played a big part into who I am today.
What does it mean to you to be a DPS Alumni?
It’s huge. Just to be able to come back home and be a part of what is happening in the city. Also, to see so many other DPS alumni doing things for the city warms my heart and is a blessing. The reason I came back was to use my skills and to help other DPSCD students. When I was in NYC, I came back pretty much every weekend or so to teach cooking classes to high schoolers. I also did some cooking classes at my church for DPSCD students. I take kids to Eastern Market and teach them how to make cost-effective meals that are healthy. It’s not just cooking, but life skills.
What advice would you give DPSCD students?
It is so encouraging to see students thrive and get to the next steps in their lives. One of the things I would push for is to embrace the Detroit grit and grind, and to use that energy in everything they do. Being present at school functions, in the classroom, in other organizations, just do as much as you can. Show people what the city stands on which is hard work and dedication.