The Fusion Chefs Eatery is the new kid on the block, but the men behind it are dedicated to being a valued part of their community for a long time.
Chef Theo and Chef X have seen their paths intersect at multiple points along their culinary journeys. About a decade ago, they worked on the line in the kitchen at Red Lobster in McDonough. They diverged, and both became certified professional chefs. Theo, who took his first cooking job at Fayetteville’s Hotlanta Wings and later managed Franks at the Old Mill, found a lucrative opportunity catering movie and TV productions and helped Xavier jump on board, but soon they realized it wasn’t where they wanted to be long-term.
“We were sitting in a food truck and we said we need to go somewhere and open our own business,” said Theo. “We were tired of cooking for someone else.”
Xavier had always dreamed of owning his own restaurant.
“Even though the pay was good, we wanted our own,” he said.
Their debut in town has been a smashing success. Opening just three months ago, business has grown as diners have been drawn in by the wide array of flavors and spread the word.
Fusion is in their name and their recipes, blending together classics and modern, healthy gourmet options, with a menu only limited by your imagination.
“We try to put 100 percent in,” said Chef X. “We try to create an experience with every dish.”
They added a big award for their mantle earlier this summer when they won “Finest Taste” at the annual Taste of Fayette food festival.
“It’s been booming,” said X. “To God be the glory.”
While they appreciate the accolades and the kind words, their goals go beyond what’s on the plate.
They ended up in headlines when a young man who had fallen on hard times was photographed sleeping at a Fayetteville McDonald’s. The community rallied around the man to help him get back on his feet, and so did the Fusion Chefs. Theo had an extra car that he let him use to get around at no cost.
“It really hurt my heart, just as much as it hurt Xavier’s heart,” remembered Theo. “We just wanted to give and help this young man out.”
While the exposure has helped the business grow, their aim is higher.
“It’s all about giving back, and it’s paying off,” said X. “It’s bigger than a restaurant.”
They chip in for their community regularly, working to inspire the next batch of innovative chefs with cooking classes.
“We’re all about bringing people back to the table or bringing wholesome clean food at the end of the day,” said Theo. “A lot of folks don’t like to cook, so we try to bring in something with our cooking style because our fusion cooking style is fun. It’s F for fun and F for fusion.”
Currently they’re teaching an eight-week course for four young boys where they focus on the history and art of cooking, knife skills, seasonings, healthy options, and hands-on tutorials in a well-rounded course.
“It’s a blessing helping someone else start that culinary journey,” said X.
The camp is a chance to pass on the love the chefs have for cooking.
X found the passion early on watching his grandma cook. He was just 8, and he couldn’t use the stove top until he was 13, so it simmered in him.
“It created that sense of urgency to really find the heart and desire for cooking,” he said. “My first dish was oodles of noodles on the stove top. You just boil some water and put in noodles, and it all started from right there.”
They have plans to keep growing and incorporating community events. They specialize in catering, and they offer up their space at a low-cost for after-hours events. In the future, they plan to host cook-and-paint events.
The chefs love to hear back from their customers, their treasured Fusionaires, so they can make the restaurant the best it can be.
“We want to know what our customers like and what they want to see,” said Theo. “We don’t want to just be the best tasting restaurant for 2019, we want to be the best tasting restaurant for next year, too.”
The Fusion Chefs Eatery is located at 455 Glynn Street South in Fayetteville. To learn more about their special events and cooking classes, follow them on Facebook or visit www.thefusionchefseatery.com.