INNOCENT UTOMI

Nigerian-born Chef Innocent, like many great chefs, inherited his mother’s passion for cooking. Growing up in the middle-class neighborhoods of West Africa, Innocent didn’t realize at the time that he was learning a craft that would take him around the world.
In his teen years, Innocent realized his cooking and the dining experiences he created for his family were his gift. Ultimately, Chef Innocent pursued a college business degree in the United Kingdom at the London Academy of Business Studies, while simultaneously completing an apprenticeship in the heart of London in a restaurant with a top French chef at its helm. Innocent observed and learned the finer techniques of classic French cooking and began to consider cooking as a profession. From London, Innocent relocated to the United States and pursued a degree in accounting and finance and expanded his culinary repertoire with Italian cuisine while working in a restaurant located in Rhode Island.
The years that followed were spent in Miami, Florida, learning American, Caribbean, Cuban and fusion cuisines, as well as attending a master’s culinary program to further his knowledge of the intricacies of restaurant operations and finance.
Leading up to the present day, Chef Innocent served as Executive Chef for a fine dining restaurant and steak house, leading his team to win #1 steak house in South Florida for five consecutive years, increasing banquet sales from $4M to $10M, which included catering the Marlin’s World Series party. Innocent assumed the chef-trainer role, expanding the restaurant group from four restaurants to twenty six.
Innocent’s next chapter relocated him to Florida’s Gulf Coast, where he made appearances on local television news and cooking shows promoting his partnership with a new fine dining steak house and wine bar. Here, he was also involved with many exclusive dinners and charity fundraisers.
When not in the restaurant, Innocent enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.