Fresh from her victory in celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s FOX television series “Next Level Chef,” Stephanie “Pyet” DeSpain will visit Cal Poly Pomona in celebration of Earth Day to dish on indigenous foods and regeneration.
DeSpain’s talk kicks off at noon on Thursday, April 21 in the Ursa Minor Suite of the Bronco Student Center, hosted by the Native American Student Center, Students for Sustainable Regenerative Action and the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies. The event is free and open to the public.
DeSpain is the first winner of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s FOX cooking competition series “Next Level Chef,” besting 14 other competitors to land a one-year mentorship from Ramsay and fellow judges Nyesha Arrington and Richard Blais and a $250,000 cash prize. DeSpain specializes in indigenous fusion cuisine, blending the food traditions of her Native American and Mexican heritage. In 2021, “Entrepreneur Magazine” listed her among the Top 10 private chefs in Los Angeles.
Born in Kansas, DeSpain is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and professionally goes by Chef Pyet — short for her inherited Native American name Pyetwetmokwe. She spent part of her childhood on the Osage Indian Reservation and cultivated her culinary interests in the kitchens of her family’s taquerias and restaurants in the Kansas City area. She relocated to Los Angeles to promote wellness and nutrition, an extension of her personal chef business “Pyet’s Plate.”