Chef Chris Williams

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"Paving the way for young adults to succeed in the evolving world of hospitality."

Growing up in Montclair, New Jersey, right outside of New York City, Chef Chris was exposed to so many different cuisines and cultures, which contributed to his very diverse pallet. Cooking from the heart was such an integral part of his upbringing; from aunts and uncles catering for some of the most well known people in the Tri-State area; to helping his mother cook on a Sunday afternoon. After graduating high school, he attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina and later received his degree in Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

He discovered his passion for catering and event management while living in Charlotte when he and a roommate decided to sell individual lunches right out of their small two-bedroom apartment. As clientele continued to grow, he decided to move to Atlanta and take his business to the next level. 

In 2018, Chef Chris decided to start The Kitchen Project to give back. He chose to help teens because the teen years are crucial to determining a young person's future.

Shalyse Lopez
Chief Operating Officer

"My hope is that The Kitchen Project will help bridge the gap from education to employment and even entrepreneurship in the culinary and hospitality industries for our youth and community."

Shalyse also grew up in Montclair, NJ where she and Chef were both raised.  A Delaware State University graduate and 7 year music publishing associate for EMI and Sony Music Publishing, Shalyse ventured into Hospitality in 2013 where she quickly grew and developed into a Sales Leader and continued her passion for helping people. Shalyse has held various positions in the Hospitality industry, from food and beverage to Catering, Group and Destination Sales with Marriott International and is currently a Sales Executive with Marriott International. Shalyse has a passion for cooking (and eating!) and strongly embraces different cultures of food and loves how cuisine brings family, friends, and business associates together. When Chef Chris first introduced The Kitchen Project to Shalyse,s he knew it was an exciting opportunity to give back to the community in a meaningful way and share her varied expertise in Hospitality through our six month certification program.