Cooking with a personal touch: Cheforyu offers private chef services in Destin

Savannah Chastain
Personal Chef Bryan Hurd said his cooking style is hard to nail down. “I really don’t have a favorite except what people say they like,” he said. “I love to create what they like.”

Bryan Hurd’s journey to becoming a private chef has been a long one. After more than 35 years of striving, a dream that began as a child and was nurtured throughout adulthood has finally come to life in the form of Cheforyu, Hurd’s new private chef company in Destin.

“I’ve been cooking pretty much my whole life,” Hurd said. “When I was six or seven years old my grandparents were visiting and my mom smelled breakfast, and thought it was my grandma, but then came out and it was me.”

Hurd said he remembers that day vaguely, it was Christmas Eve and he prepared scrambled eggs, sausage and hash browns, but he said he doesn’t remember why he chose to cook.

“I got up and just started doing it,” he said. “There’s really no other reason than that.”

That first meal’s success ignited Hurd’s infatuation with all things culinary, and as he grew older he began to pick up odd jobs that placed him in the kitchen at a very young age.

“I used to sweep the floors and clean up for a place in New Orleans where they would stuff and cook turkeys, chickens and ducks, and they used to make fun of me until one day they asked, ‘Do you think you could de-bone a chicken?’ I told them I could if they showed me how, and after that I was promoted and de-boning was my new job.”

Hurd said his culinary influence came about more from the cultural experiences he had while growing up on the outskirts of New Orleans than it did from his home cooking.

“I used to speak more French and Creole than English,” he said. “Outside influences were what I did; just the fascination of it.”

Hurd told The Log that his next impressionable encounter was while working as a line cook for an Italian chef named Giovanni in New Orleans.

“He told me one time, and I will never forget it; ‘Do you realize what an honor it is for another human being to allow you to cook for them? That’s a huge amount of trust that they will eat what you prepare.’”

Hurd said those words inspired him to truly take cooking seriously.

“I got his point and I took it all the way,” said Hurd.

As for formal training, Hurd has a business degree from LSU and took as many cooking classes as he could while there.

“Back then there were not really culinary classes offered at LSU,” said Hurd. “They had home economics, and baking classes, and my degree really focused on restaurant business and cooking, they just didn’t call it that.”

Hurd explained that his degree gives him the best of both worlds, with the opportunity to put both his cooking and business skills to work.

“It gives me the ability to cook and also be a business man,” he said. “And that qualifies me to be an executive chef in this area.”

Hurd’s experience in the kitchen, besides his youthful years, includes five years in his own catering business, A’faire Du Jours Gourmet To Go, and five years working at Dewey Destin’s under Chef Jim Shirah.

“It’s been a lifelong training ground,” said Hurd. “Every step of the way I’ve tried to learn.”

With Cheforyu, Hurd told The Log that he hopes to share his knowledge and passion for cooking with delicious food and a fun, interactive kitchen style.

“I hope that it becomes something that people enjoy and become comfortable with,” he said of both his business and the art of cooking. “I like interacting with guests and I hope to bring a personal experience to them.”

For more information about Cheforyu visit www.cheforyu.com or call 217-7777.