Chef O’Shay Lolley
Delaware-based chef O’Shay Lolley gives new meaning to the description soul food with twist. Coming up with some of the most innovative dishes to include BBQ potato salad, orange soda greens and fried banana pudding, he is building a cult following in his hometown of Wilmington and beyond.
Chef O’Shay devoted much of his early career to traveling as a musician and private chef working in kitchens up and down the east coast. Looking for “good” soul food options in Delaware, he wanted something fresh and new and eventually that he began selling take out dinners from a local day care center. “We started off with crab cakes, because it was easier and then we started created dinners and I always had these ideas to do something different. I sold dinners the first time, no one showed up. Second time, we may have to sold to about 20 people. I was thinking, ‘I am not doing this no more, I am waiting money.’ The guy was like, ‘Let’s do it one more time, I enjoy doing it.’ He wanted people to see the daycare because it was a community center as well. So we did it one more time and people you know how people alway say third time is a charm. The third time we actually did it, we had a line of about 100 people out the door.”
The word had gotten out about greens and other dishes that no other chef was creating and Chef Lolley became an instant success. But it also scared him. “I got so overwhelmed that I actually ran into the bathroom I was so overwhelmed. I am running from my success, something I prayed for.”
Taking his culinary platform to a brick-n-mortar location, Chef Lolley was scheduled to open SeVen Burgers, Wings and Fries in March 2020, but the pandemic shattered the concept.
Today the private chef and caterer is pleasing palates and creating more crazy delicious takes on dishes we all know and love. Last year, viewers got to see him in action as a contestant on season 21 of “Hell’s Kitchen.”
Embracing success, cooking food his way and thinking outside the box are a few of the topics he talks about in this episode.
To continue his story, be sure to follow him in Instagram.