Jose Garabito, also known as “Chef Cheo,” has a love of all things culinary, which started in his childhood kitchen in Washington, D.C. His heritage exposed him to a vibrant mix of Caribbean and Latin cuisine. Chef Cheo followed his passion and graduated from the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Miami,FL. Later, teaching at the Le Cordon Bleu Academy in Miami,Chef Cheo dove into the culinary scene, training and working in some of the city’s top eateries, including The Mayfair House Hotel, St. Michel Hotel and J. Alexander’s. His journey led him back to the nation’s capital, where he worked downtown at Ortanique; and, later served as Executive Chef at Republic Gardens and Pearl, two of D.C.’s top nightlife destinations. Chef Cheo’s penchant for recreating bold flavors with innovation and excitement has been a hit at events like the Miami Grand Prix, NASCAR’s Homestead Races and the 1997 World Series. He has delighted the palates of celebrities such as Mario Andretti, Tiger Woods, Pete Sampras, Alonzo Mourning, Tyra Banks, Jason Priestley and music stars like Nelly and Johnny Gill.
In 2006, during a four-year stint as a personal chef to pop superstar Janet Jackson, Chef Cheo was able to assist her in re-shaping and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight loss goals with spectacular results. Over the years, his private clients have included a wide range of star athletes and media celebrities, i.e. former baseball pro Gary Sheffield, pro basketball stars Patrick Ewing, Jeff McInnis and Caron Butler. In 2010, Chef Cheo snagged another high-profile client, New York Yankees pitcher, C. C. Sabathia. He played a pivotal role in Sabathia’s headline-making weight-loss when the Yankees gathered in Florida for 2011 spring training. Chef Cheo has also worked with entertainment mogul, Tyler Perry, as his personal chef,helping Mr. Perry lose over 35 pounds in a short window of 4 weeks, with healthy comfort food as the basis of his meal plan. Chef Cheo has become the “go-to celebrity chef” for professional sports figures and celebrities that not only want to get into better shape, but also, want to maintain a high level of fitness and wellness. Chef Cheo advises his clients on how to live a more health-conscious lifestyle, encompassing healthy eating choices, nutrition education and stress elimination. This is what inspires Chef Cheo. He acknowledges, “I’m driven to help my clients meet and exceed their health and lifestyle goals.”
As a trailblazer in the personal chef and health industries,Chef Cheo decided to venture into food service production for major Hollywood film and television productions. He has provided food services for directors, celebrity actors and the entire crew for many productions. He provided healthy meals for the entire cast of Captain America 3: Civil War, for the director of Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious, F. Gary Gray, for the director of Passengers, Morten Tyldum; and, provided full catering for Tyler Perry’s televisions shows: The Haves and the Have Nots, Love Thy Neighbor and If Loving You Is Wrong.
He has become a consummate professional who specializes in showing people how to prepare healthy, natural and flavorful meals. Chef Cheo has made an indelible mark on the personal chef and film and tv food services production industries. Next, he is poised to embark upon a new phase of his extremely accomplished career. He is developing a comprehensive curriculum for children in elementary, middle and high school that will revolutionize our nation’s approach to providing healthy meals in America’s schools.
Forever passionate about sharing his much sought-after knowledge about healthy eating and living, this health and lifestyle expert will be announcing a new book and television show very soon.