Chef Roblé Stirs the Pot

By Scott Walton Executive Editor

6/14/2013, 6 a.m.
Don’t ask chef Roblé Ali what’s cooking unless you’ve got time to hear a lengthy reply.
Soul Singer Estelle, Chef Roble Ali and Stylist Derek J. (Courtesy of Rosa Regale).

Don’t ask chef Roblé Ali what’s cooking unless you’ve got time to hear a lengthy reply.

The breakout star of the Bravo series “Chef Roblé & Co.” hosted a VIP brunch last Saturday at the celebrated Old Fourth Ward restaurant, Serpas, to hype a new liqueur called Rosa Regale.

And while scanning the swell-dressed crowd munching on his ceviche-topped potato chips and dough-wrapped sausage sliders, Ali did not mince words about his rising status as a lifestyle guru.

Furiously working his smart phone while talking, Ali remarked: “I don’t even look at myself as a chef anymore. That’s just one of the things I do. I’m a hospitality professional.”

To amplify the occasion, he brought in the British-born soul singing sensation Estelle to perform a handful of tunes.

Now in its second season of airing, “Chef Roblé & Co.” spotlights the celebrities who call on Ali for customized catering. Chaos sometimes ensues and feathers get ruffled; as exemplified by the episode where Ali clashes with “Real Housewives of Atlanta” co-star Phaedra Parks after she hires him to host a tea party.

According to Hollywood Life magazine, upcoming episodes of the show will feature the musician John Legend, talk show host Michael Strahan and NBA star Tyson Chandler.

“I can’t tell you all the tipping points that you’ll see this season because it would spoil the surprise,” said Ali, who calls himself a dual resident of Houston and Manhattan.

“I think what sets my show apart from the rest is that it’s really real,” he added. “That’s rare in the reality TV realm. There’s a good spirit behind what we do. Yes, there is fighting and stuff. But the moral of the stories is good. Name me one other popular reality show that has a positive message. I bet you can’t.”

Ali likens his life and career to a jambalaya that gets richer, tastier and more spicey with each new ingredient tossed in.

“Cooking is just 25 percent of what I do now,” he said. “I do a lot of other things. I’m coordinating events like this one. I’m designing a T-shirt line. I’m developing my own wine label and a signature fragrance.

“I want to be known as Mr. Hospitality. It’s all about the total experience: the setting, the décor, the music, the furniture, the guest list. When the food turns out right that’s just the icing on the cake.”