By: Kyra Williams
Last year, we introduced you to chef Craig Curbean and Project Giveback. Curbean is a graduate of the Baltimore International College School of Culinary Arts and the son of an Executive Chef, needless to say cooking runs in the family. Having fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming an Executive Chef at age 22, Curbean felt something was missing from his life and there was a void he needed to fill. In November 2009, Curbean finally decided to follow his heart and help the less fortunate. He assembled a family team of four consisting of his Mother, Father, Brother, and himself. He cooked all the food and his family helped him package and pass out numerous dinners on the streets of downtown Baltimore. Fast forward to 2014 and Curbean is expanding on his dreams with the new restaurant “Taste This.” We caught up with the chef and entrepreneur on how he’s managed to do it all!
In what ways are you going to make Project Giveback bigger?
This year I want to collaborate with other people who have a following in the city. By doing this we can bring more people aboard with Project Giveback. The more people who can help out and the more people who can spread word more people can join. It might be easier this year because I have my own kitchen so I can really go to work.
What is the theme of the restaurant and what dishes will be served?
I wouldn’t say comfort food but we will have a little bit of everything. I want to cater to all crowds and I don’t just want to say that we are a soul food restaurant. We will have a soul food portion of the restaurant but we’ll have breakfast, salads, and different lunch items. We will also run either weekly or monthly specials that are just out of this world. Like on Fridays we’ll do seafood Fridays and on Thursdays we’ll do international Thursdays.
What do you hope to achieve from this restaurant?
I want to be a staple in the city. I want people from DC, Virginia, or people just from anywhere. I want people to say I have to go to Baltimore to go to Taste This.
What are your future plans and goals for the restaurant?
If it goes good my next step will be an actual sit down restaurant since I have a takeout space. So my next move will be a sit down restaurant or either the food truck route because that’s one of the hottest things out right now and I actually love food trucks.
What advice would you give someone that wants to start in the culinary industry?
I would just say go for it because I really did not have anyone to inspire me to be a chef. I inspired and push myself to see how far I can go. The only important thing is you have to love food because if you don’t love the food the food won’t love you back.